'I Should Be Allowed To Play Any Person': Scarlett Johansson Still Doesn't Get It
In a recent interview, Scarlett Johansson, has lashed out at 'political correctness'.
Speaking to 'As If' magazine, in quotes obtained by the Daily Mail, Johansson finally broke her silence about a number of casting controversies.
"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 told the magazine.
"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."
Regarding the concept of 'political correctness' as a whole, Johansson said she felt 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."
The actress has been embroiled in a number of casting controversies, being cast to play both a traditionally Japanese character and a trans man in recent years.
She first became a target of "whitewashing" criticism after she was cast as the lead of the critically panned 'Ghost in the Shell', a film based on a popular Japanese manga.
The 'Black Widow' star became the butt of many jokes -- but even the 'Ghost in the Shell' experience didn't prep Johansson for the backlash of the casting announcement of another film called 'Rub & Tug'.
In 'Rub', Johansson was to play Dante "Tex" Gill, a gangster and trans person. Her casting, as a cisgender person, was widely criticised.
In response, Johannson told her critics, "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment", referring to three other cis actors who had played trans roles.
The tantrum-esque comment created even more backlash which forced the actor to step down from the role. Issuing a statement to 'Out' magazine saying, she said: "I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues".
"While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life," Johansson continued, "I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film."
Unfortunately, it appears that 'understanding' has withered.
There are many people who will agree with Johansson, that acting is simply pretending, and that it shouldn't matter what race, sexuality, sex, gender or creed an actor is -- because ultimately they're just 'acting'.
However, in 2019, people are smarter that assuming acting is just "pretending". Technically speaking, Johansson could play any tree she wants, not because she would be good at pretending but because of her rich background in delivering strictly wooden performances.
Representation is still a major issue in Hollywood. In a study of the stars of the 100 top-earning films of 2018, there were just five black women, three multiracial women, two Latina women and one Asian women.
Allowing women in underrepresented minorities be able to tell the stories of their own backgrounds, their own cultural or ethnic heritage, makes for stronger stories.
Johansson, a cisgendered woman, could "pretend" to be a trans person in a film, but casting trans performers in trans roles brings an authenticity to the experience. A better performance.
Scarlett Johansson doesn't get it.
Featured image: Getty Images.