Scarlett Johansson clarified comments she made about politically correct casting saying that she should be allowed to “play any person, or any tree, or any animal.”
Johansson recently received backlash for accepting the role of transgender man and gangster Dante Tex Gill in the upcoming film “Rub &Tug.” She ultimately withdrew from the film as a result of the criticism.
In an interview with As If magazine, Johansson said she should be allowed to play anyone or anything.
“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. “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.”
Her comments weren’t well received and led her to issue a clarification of her remarks. Johansson says the interview was “edited for click bait.”
“An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is widely taken out of context,” Johansson said in a statement to Variety. “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 didn’t come across that way.”
“I recognize that in reality, there is a widespread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cis-gendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to,” 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 also came under fire for playing the lead role in the film adaptation of the Japanese anime “Ghost in the Shell,” a role some people believed should have been given to a Japanese actress.