Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson has become the subject of many jokes after she recently remarked that she should be ‘allowed to play any person’ in any film. The comment caught the attention of people across the world and now there are many brutal memes mocking the statement.
In an interview with AS IF, the Avengers Endgame actor defended herself against criticism over being cast as an Asian woman in the film Ghost in the Shell and as a transman in Rub and Tug. She later exited the film Rub and Tug.
“Today there’s a lot of emphasis and conversation about what acting is and who we want to see represent ourselves on screen. The question now is, what is acting anyway?” Johansson asked.
When interviewer David Salle replied, “Right. Who gets to play what roles…” Johansson continued, “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.”
“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,” the actor said.
While most people on social media stayed away from commenting on Johansson’s acting skills they did highlight the absence of diversity in films:
It’s not about Scarlett Johansson getting to play any ethnicity / sexual orientation she likes…
Hollywood doesn’t write nearly enough minority lead roles. Casting majority actors to play the few minority roles there are, rather than minority actors, doesn’t help the imbalance.
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) July 14, 2019
lmao scarlett johansson was asked about giving up that trans role and then immediately jumped to comparing playing different gender identities/ethnicities to… animals and trees? ok hun pic.twitter.com/UjtmvGruEt
— Nina Mohan 🇱🇰 (@NinaLMohan) July 13, 2019
Am repinning this to my profile because ScarJo has learned nothing. Am definitely NOT watching ‘Black Widow’ or any future project of hers. https://t.co/bKLi9fsiuX
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) July 13, 2019
When trans people are “allowed to play any person,” when prominent roles stop being whitewashed, then Scarlett Johansson can have a moan. Until then, please spare us your “political correctness gone mad” bullshit https://t.co/OZ8QUTuj9j
— Dean Van Nguyen (@deanvannguyen) July 13, 2019
Many thought her tone-deaf attitude was because of her privilege and came up with memes depicting her as trees and even Thanos. Some even said she could play the ‘first black Bond’.
I heard the new black female 007 is going to be played by Scarlett Johansson.
— mark normand (@marknorm) July 15, 2019
say what you want about Scarlett Johansson, but her death scene in Avatar was some of her best work 😔 pic.twitter.com/d9MmccCemh
— bæ J (@AJ_Jeremiah) July 15, 2019
Just found out Scarlett Johansson played THANOS in infinity war. 😳😳😳 pic.twitter.com/SfoHFRtlHG
— james passmore (@robbyrectangles) July 15, 2019
scarlett johansson: pic.twitter.com/U2WYHHbYgE
— Louis Staples (@LouisStaples) July 14, 2019
Tessa Thompson and Scarlett Johansson in ANNIHILATION pic.twitter.com/yXBKb8qTWS
— eric eidelstein (@ericeidelstein) July 14, 2019
Scarlett Johansson is an actress at Rainforest Cafe now?? pic.twitter.com/HJTPMsh8tB
— party city employee (@nicholasbueller) July 14, 2019
wait why did no one tell me that scarlett johansson was in game of thrones??? pic.twitter.com/fcn17okK2Q
— ben (@starkrings) July 14, 2019
incredible work by scarlett johansson here pic.twitter.com/8tOT5nvhGT
— Jill Krajewski (@JillKrajewski) July 14, 2019
Scarlett Johansson looks great in the upcoming POCAHONTAS remake pic.twitter.com/VjfanxrmB9
— Tom Zohar (@TomZohar) July 14, 2019
Is this Scarlett Johansson? pic.twitter.com/5bKrS8nPvJ
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) July 13, 2019
scarlett johansson’s next roles talking to each other pic.twitter.com/dLlTpku6Ca
— sutton 𐋀 (@nasaromanovas) July 13, 2019
How Scarlett Johansson sees herself pic.twitter.com/gXaN5g1Hu0
— ʀᴀᴄʜᴇʟ (@emmagildas) July 13, 2019
Johansson later released a statement in which she said the statement was “taken out of context.”
“An interview that was recently published has been edited for clickbait and is widely taken out of context,” the actor said in a statement to Variety.
She clarified her stance, saying, “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.”