Scarlett Johansson griped that her snarky comments that she should be able to play whatever role she wants were “widely taken out of context.”
The actress, who has been slammed for taking on a transgender role (“Rub & Tug”) and playing a Japanese character (“Ghost in the Shell”), which critics said should have been filled by a transgender individual and a Japanese actor, on Sunday reiterated her assertion that an actor should be able to play any role.
“You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job,” Johansson said in an interview in As If magazine. “There are a lot of social lines being drawn now, and a lot of political correctness is being reflected in art.” She said that “art should be free of restrictions.”
After an uproar on Twitter about her comments, she complained Sunday in a statement to the media that her comments were “edited for click bait” and “taken out of context.”
Her new statement seemed very much like what she was quoted as saying in As If.
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The “Avengers: Endgame” star said the question she was answering in As If concerned 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,” she said in Sunday’s statement. Johansson said that was the point she was making, but it “didn’t come across that way.”
She also acknowledged that discrimination exists in the entertainment industry. And Johansson said she realizes that “not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have.” She added: “I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”
Johansson stepped down from a role as a transgender man in the movie “Rub & Tug” last summer amid calls for the character to be played by a trans actor.
She got further heat on Twitter Sunday about her new comments.