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Scarlett Johansson Addresses Equal Pay Issue: It’s ‘Obnoxious’ for Me to Complain About My Salary

Scarlett Johansson
Johansson visits The Tonight Show in 2015. Jamie McCarthy/NBC/Getty Images

She doesn’t relate on this one. Scarlett Johansson shared her take on the issue of equal pay — which many stars in Hollywood, including Jennifer Lawrence and Patricia Arquette, have discussed in the last year — in her new May 2016 cover story for Cosmopolitan. 

“There’s something icky about me having that conversation unless it applies to a greater whole,” the Avengers actress, 31, told the mag. “I am very fortunate, I make a really good living, and I’m proud to be an actress who’s making as much as many of my male peers at this stage.”

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Johansson has starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including Iron Man 2, Captain America, The Avengers franchise and more. She also voices a character in Disney’s The Jungle Book, out this weekend. However, she acknowledged the issue is prevalent and affects women across all industries.

“I think every woman has [been underpaid],” Johansson mused to Cosmo, without mentioning Lawrence’s note. “But unless I’m addressing it as a larger problem, for me to talk about my own personal experience with it feels a little obnoxious. It’s part of a larger conversation about feminism in general.”  

Scarlett Johansson

Lawrence, for her part, brought up the issue yet again in her May 2016 Harper’s Bazaar cover story. “I had no idea it was going to blow up like that,” the Silver Linings Playbook star recalled of her Lenny Letter, which provoked some backlash. “But, really, people who criticized it are people who think women should not be paid the same as men. So I don’t really care what those people think,” she told Bazaar. “I try not to be too sensitive to the ‘poor rich girl’ jokes. I was saying my reality is absolutely fabulous, but it is not the reality of a lot of women in America. That’s what I’m talking about.”

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Along with the issue of equal pay, Johansson addressed another controversial topic affecting women in America in her Cosmo cover story. “There are countries at war, there’s terrorism, global warming, and we’re like, ‘We should definitely cut the budget for Planned Parenthood. Let’s take away the availability of women’s health initiatives!'” she told the mag. “It’s nuts. We’re talking about preventing cervical and breast cancers. Growing up, I used [PP’s] services. All my girlfriends did—not just for birth control but for Pap smears and breast exams. You read about the rise of back-alley abortions, women having to mutilate themselves and teenagers having to seek help in unsafe conditions, and for what?! We’re moving backward when we’re supposed to be moving forward.”

Johansson’s Cosmo issue is out on April 12.

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