Scarlett Johansson has defended her latest controversial comments about representation and casting, in which said she should be allowed to play "any person, or any tree or any animal" as having been "taken out of context [for] clickbait".
The actor, who has had a history of controversy around portraying characters many thought would have been better suited for an actor of colour, stepped down last year from playing a trans male character in new film Rub &Tug following widespread backlash.
Johansson believes her quotes from the As If interview were "edited for clickbait".
“An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context,” the Avengers: Endgame star told Entertainement Weekly in a statement. “The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art.
I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness. That is the point I was making, albeit [it] didn’t come across that way.
“I recognise that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favours caucasian, cis gendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to,” she said.
I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.
Johansson’s latest statement has been met with further criticism, with people saying it's still tone deaf.
Even people who support Johansson's position deny that her comments were taken out of context.
Others found her backpedalling disingenuous.
And others preferred humour to make a statement.
There are those who defended Johansson's sentiments, including trans YouTuber Blaire White, arguing if Ariel could be played by a black woman, ScarJo can play a trans character.
In response, others pointed out that cis and white is the default in Hollywood - people of colour, trans and gay actors just don't get represented in films - certainly not in a normalised, mainstream way. And when they are seen, they are often stereotyped. That's the problem.
In an "ideal world" race, gender, sexual orientation and able-bodiedness should not prevent actors from being cast in whatever role they want. But this is not that world.