Scarlett Johansson Says She's "Made a Career" Out of "Embarrassing" Controversies

Scarlett Johansson, aspiring tree actor, is reflecting on the past controversies throughout her career.

The Black Widow actress, who has previously signed on for a role as an Asian character, another as a transgender character, and has spoken favorably about Woody Allen, sarcastically told The Gentlewoman she's "made a career" out of an apparent attraction to controversy.

"I'm going to have opinions about things, because that's just who I am," she told the magazine. "I mean, everyone has a hard time admitting when they're wrong about stuff, and for all of that to come out publicly, it can be embarrassing. To have the experience of, Wow, I was really off mark there, or I wasn't looking at the big picture, or I was inconsiderate. I'm also a person."

In 2017, she was accused of whitewashing for signing up for a lead role in Rupert Sanders' movie Ghost in the Shell, a film adaptation of a Japanese manga series. The following year, Johansson signed on for a role as a transgender man in Sanders' film Rub & Tug, sparking backlash once again.

Scarlett Johansson

She initially responded to the Rub & Tug backlash with a statement reading, "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment." (Tambor, Leto, and Huffman have all previously played trans characters in movies and television shows.) She then backtracked, pulling out of the movie and telling Out magazine in 2018, "I've learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive."

The next year, she told As If magazine, "You know, as an actor I should be able to play any person, or any tree, or any animal, because that's my job and the requirements of my job."

In 2019, she again sparked criticism when she spoke highly of Woody Allen, who directed her in Match PointScoop and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, amid sexual assault claims made by his estranged daughter Dylan Farrow. "I love Woody…I believe him, and I would work with him anytime," Johansson told The Hollywood Reporter.

Johansson also told The Gentlewoman she's learning and "recognizing when it's not your turn to speak."

"I can be reactive. I can be impatient. That doesn't mix that great with self-awareness," she said.

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