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Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell
Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell

Scarlett Johansson says her quotes on diverse casting were ‘out of context’

The actor, criticised for her role choices, speaks out to clarify what was a controversial statement

Scarlett Johansson has responded to her own comments she made on “authentic casting”, speaking out to claim that her words were taken out of context. 

In an interview with As If magazine, Johansson asserted that “art should be free of restrictions”, and actors should be able to play “any person, or any tree, or any animal”, “because that is my job and the requirement of my job”.

The actor faced criticism for taking on an Asian role for ‘whitewashing’ Ghost in the Shell in 2017. Last year, she pulled out of her role as a transgender man in Rub & Tug after trans activists called out the casting, stating than trans actors should have the opportunity to play trans characters in cinema.

Johansson has since responded to the article and subsequent backlash, stating that her quotes were taken out of context, and edited by other publications for “clickbait”. 

In a statement, she said: “An interview that was recently published has been edited for click bait and is 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.

"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 recognise that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favours Caucasian, cisgender actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to."