Scarlett Johansson is fueling the neverending controversy about acting and appropriation.
The actor, known for playing Black Widow in the MCU movies, has made several faux pas in the past.
Last but not least, she took on a role of a transmasculine character in Rub & Tug in 2018. After defending her choice, she then decided to leave the project due to huge negative backlash.
Scarlett says she should be able to ‘play any person’
In a new interview with As If magazine, however, Johansson maintained she can play any characters, regardless of gender and race.
‘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 explained.
‘I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions.’
She then added: ‘I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.’
Scarlett Johansson and her controversial casting decisions
Critics accused Johansson of whitewashing for playing the main character in 2017 movie Ghost In The Shell. The movie by Rupert Sanders was the live-action adaptation of a manga-anime series of the same name.
The Tony Award winner defined her character Motoko Kusanagi – a robot – as ‘identity-less’. Nonetheless, many pointed an Asian actor should have landed the role.
Johansson and Sanders teamed up again for Rub & Tag, an unreleased project about a trans man who ran massage parlors and prostitution rings in ’70s-era Pittsburgh.
The actor accepted to play the protagonist but subsequently pulled out.
‘Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,’ she said last year.
The cisgender actors she mentioned have all played trans characters. Johansson has since apologized for her ‘insensitive’ comments.