Last week, Avengers: Endgame actress Scarlett Johansson turned heads with her comments related to political correctness and casting decisions. She has walked back on those comments claiming that they were taken out of context. She further stated that she supports diversity in film.
The comments came from a story by the Daily Mail UK that cited an interview with As If magazine. In the story, the actress said: “I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal“. But it seemed that the British publication did not release the entire statement.
This last Saturday the actress released her full statement, in fact, was this:
“…in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness.”
“I recognize that in reality, there is a widespread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cis-gender actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to.”
Johansson Criticized for Roles
When it comes to diversity and casting, this isn’t Scarlett’s first rodeo. In fact, in two of her more recent, non-Avengers films, Ghost In The Shell and Rub & Tug, she has had to deal with fierce criticism related to her casting.
She was criticized by those within the transgendered community for playing a transgender person in the film Rub & Tug. They were unhappy that a transgender person wasn’t chosen for the film. However, it was Johannsson’s support that got the project off the ground in the first place.
Then there was the case of Ghost In The Shell. Many non-Japanese in the west took offense to the fact that Scarlett Johansson would portray Major in the live-action versions of the classic anime film.
Many in Japan didn’t understand why there was controversy to begin with:
In relation to the piece by the Daily Mail, the actress slammed the publication and clarified her thoughts on the subject of casting and diversity: “An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context.”
She would go on to give context to the question that produced the much-cited answer: “The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art.”
What do you think of all of this, and Scarlett Johansson ‘s view on casting? In general, what are your thoughts on casting, and how it relates to films?