Scarlett Johansson Clarifies Comments About Politically Correct Casting One Year After ‘Rub & Tug’ Controversy

Scarlett Johansson Talks 'Political Correctness' in Acting
Scarlett Johansson attends the World Premiere Of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures "Avengers: Endgame" at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

One year after Scarlett Johansson made the decision to exit the film Rub & Tug after she received an outpouring of backlash for being cast as a transgender man, the actress made headlines for a new interview in which spoke out about politically correct casting, saying she should “be allowed to play any person.”

The Avengers actress, 34, clarified her comments in a statement to Entertainment Weekly on Sunday, July 14, via her rep, noting that the quote was accurate but were “widely taken out of context.”

“The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art,” Johansson added of her interview with AS IF Magazine that was published earlier this month. “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 wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cisgendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to. I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”

Johansson’s clarification came after the Daily Mail published selected quotes from the interview with AS IF. The outlet has since published Johansson’s entire Q&A with David Salle to clarify the context of her quotes.

“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,” she told the publication. “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.”

As previously reported, Johansson pulled out of her role in Rub & Tug in July 2018 after the casting was slammed for not going to a trans actor.

“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” Johansson said in a statement to Out Magazine at the time.

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