Actress Scarlett Scarlett Johansson doubled down on her #MeToo inspired marketing for the upcoming Black Widow film.

Most recently, Johansson spoke with Time for an article decrying Black Widow as a “sexist stereotype.”

The actress stated, “In the beginning she was used as a kind of chess piece for her male counterparts.”

(L-R): Melina (Rachel Weisz), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo by Jay Maidment. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Related: Time Magazine Declares Superheroes A Problem Because They “Star Straight, White Men”

Now, to give Johansson the benefit of the doubt it’s unclear in what context the comment was made.

However, Time’s Eliana Dockterman, who has a history of attacking superheroes, implies that it was made as a criticism of the character and her previous appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

And if that is the case, it makes absolutely no sense. Because Black Widow was indeed a chess piece to one of her male counterparts and that is Nick Fury because shockingly she actually worked for him and he aptly used her skills on a number of missions including recruiting Bruce Banner and Tony Stark into the Avengers.

(L-R): Yelena (Florence Pugh), Alexei (David Harbour) and Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo by Jay Maidment. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

She was not a chess piece to anyone else. In fact, Iron Man 2 makes it clear she’s not a chess piece for Tony Stark as she reveals she’s an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and her whole purpose of getting close to Stark was on orders from Fury.

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier she’s not a chess piece for Cap either. The two actually work together in order to put a stop to Hydra.

Then in Captain America: Civil War she plays both sides and eventually helps Captain America acquire the Quinjet at the airport scene.

Source: Black Widow

More recently, in Avengers: Endgame she became the head of the Avengers and was organizing operations across the planet following Thanos’ attack. She would eventually sacrifice herself, a choice she makes, in order for the Avengers to acquire the Soul Stone so they can produce an Infinity Gauntlet of their own.

So, in one sense she might have been a chess piece, but that was in her duties as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent under Nick Fury. Otherwise, she’s made a lot of her own decisions and been key in helping the Avengers succeed. All you have to do to know that is to watch the actual movies.

(L-R): Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Mason (O-T Fagbenle) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo by Jay Maidment. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Related: Scarlett Johansson Criticizes Black Widow’s “Hyper-Sexualization” In Iron Man 2

The comment comes a couple weeks after Johansson’s commented on Black Widow’s hyper-sexualization in Iron Man 2 that were reportedly made back in 2019 and recently published by Collider to promote the Black Widow film.

She was asked by Collider, “There is a sort of sexualization of superheroes. How did that effect Black Widow?”

Johansson responded, “Yeah. It definitely has changed and I think part of that change has probably — it’s hard because I’m inside it, but probably a lot of that is actually from me too.”

“I’ll be 35 years old and I’m a mom and my life is different. Obviously, 10 years have passed and things have happened and I have a much different, more evolved understanding of myself,” she continued.

She went on, “As a woman, I’m in a different place in my life, you know? And I felt more forgiving of myself, as a woman, and not — sometimes probably not enough. I’m more accepting of myself, I think.”

Yelena (Florence Pugh) and Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo by Jay Maidment. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

She then addressed the hyper-sexualization of Black Widow in Iron Man 2, “All of that is related to that move away from the kind of hyper-sexualization of this character and, I mean, you look back at Iron Man 2 and while it was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualized, you know?”

She continued, “Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever — like a piece of ass, really. And Tony even refers to her as something like that at one point. What does he say?”

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff and Florence Pugh as Yelena in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW. Photo by Jay Maidment. ©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Related: Former Superman Actor Dean Cain Responds To Time Magazine and Eliana Dockterman’s Attack On Superheroes

After being prompted by Collider’s Ashley Robinson, she continued, “‘I want some.’ Yeah and at one point calls her a piece of meat and maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean? Because my thinking was different.”

Johansson elaborated, “Maybe I even would have, you know, my own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment or, like a lot of young women, you come into your own and you understand your own self-worth. It’s changing now.”

She concluded, “Now people, young girls, are getting a much more positive message, but it’s been incredible to be a part of that shift and be able to come out the other side and be a part of that old story, but also progress. Evolve. I think it’s pretty cool.”

Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW
L to R: Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Director Cate Shortland, Yelena (Florence Pugh) and Alexei (David Harbour)
Photo: Jay Maidment
©Marvel Studios 2020

What do you make of Johansson’s recent comments about Black Widow?

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    John F. Trent
    Founder and Editor-in-Chief

    John is the Editor-in-Chief here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.

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