Scarlett Johansson: "I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal"

Danny Thompson
Contributor
Scarlett Johansson attending a photocall for Avengers: Endgame, at the Corinthia in London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson has opened up on the role ‘political correctness’ is having on movie casting.

The actress addressed the backlash she faced when she was cast to play transmasculine male in Rub & Tub, which she eventually pulled out of, and her part in Japanese manga film Ghost In The Shell .

Having stayed quiet surrounding the criticism, the Lost in Translation star has now hinted she is uncomfortable with the political correctness that people are placing on her when picking her roles, saying she has should be able play any person she chooses.

Read more: Scarlett Johansson quits transgender role after backlash

Speaking to AS IF magazine, she said: “There is a lot of social lines being drawn now, and a lot of political correctness is being reflected in art.

“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.”

She added, “I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.”

The comments have received criticism online. Writer Charlotte Clymer said: “Scarlett Johansson is a cisgender white woman with a powerful platform and no storage of work opportunities.

“Trans people should play trans people. Period. It is incredibly disappointing that she has learned nothing and clearly does not care about the experiences of trans people.”

Read more: Scarlett Johansson urges actors to 'go straight to the police' when dealing with 'terrifying' paparazzi

She added: “I will not be seeing any films that involve Scarlett Johansson moving forward. I do not want to give my money to someone who trivializes the oppression of trans people and diminishes the importance of our visibility.”

Screenwriter Stephanie Mickus tweeted: “Yes, ScarJo, you should be able to play a tree. Because there aren’t countless sentient trees desiring to act yet struggling to get cast in roles.

“But there ARE ton of LGBTQIA l/non binary actors who have vocalized that they would love to represent those characters.”