Actress Scarlett Johansson of Hollywood has spoken out against the public pressure on celebrities to make political statements. Johansson believes that actors should focus solely on their craft instead of making political statements.
During an interview with the British publication “The Gentlewoman,” to which Johansson was a contributor, the actress made the comments in question.
“I don’t think actors have obligations to have a public role in society,” said the star of the popular Avengers superhero movie franchise.
“Some people want to, but the idea that you’re obligated to because you’re in the public eye is unfair. You didn’t choose to be a politician, you’re an actor,” she explained.
Throughout her career, Johansson has been subjected to a significant amount of criticism for being perceived to be woke. In 2017, when she played the lead role in the remake of the classic Japanese anime story “Ghost in the Shell,” she was called out for “whitewashing,” which is when a person plays a role that is not representative of their ethnicity. In the latter half of 2018, she made history by playing a transgender man in the film “Rub and Tug.” This was a significant step for the transgender community. She initially stood by her choice but eventually withdrew from that film in response to the widespread condemnation she received for it.
She continued, during the interview for Gentlewoman, by encouraging other actors to pursue acting as a career.
“Your job is to reflect our experience to ourselves; your job is to be a mirror for an audience, to be able to have an empathetic experience through art. That is what your job is,” Johansson continued.
“Whatever my political views are, all that stuff, I feel most successful when people can sit in a theatre or at home and disappear into a story or a performance and see pieces of themselves, or are able to connect with themselves through this experience of watching this performance or story or interaction between actors or whatever it is,” she added.
“And they’re affected by it and they’re thinking about it, and they feel something. You know? They have an emotional reaction to it – good, bad, uncomfortable, validating, whatever,” Johansson explained.
“That’s my job,” she said. “The other stuff is not my job.”
The latest Marvel superhero film, “Black Widow,” in which Johansson stars, was originally scheduled to be released in theaters and on Disney’s streaming service on May 1, but the date has been pushed back to July 9.