Scarlett Johansson: Actors Shouldn’t Feel Need to Get Political

As a huge Marvel fan, I’ve been a fan of actress Scarlett Johansson and her portrayal of the character Black Widow. Her refusal to buckle to the BDS-holes following her work for Israeli company Sodastream, as well as her grace, was even more impressive. She followed that up by poo-pooing the idea that the so-called “settlements” are necessarily illegal and shouldn’t be there.

Now, in an interview with “The Gentlewoman” (a British magazine, what else could it be with that name?!), she is still making a lot of sense: she essentially believes actors should not feel the need to get political and rather stick to acting.

scarlett-johansson-and sodastreamSomething she’s been trying to learn is when to say things and when not to – “recognising when it’s not your turn to speak,” as she puts it. “I can be reactive. I can be impatient. That doesn’t mix that great with self-awareness.” But she also hits back a little at the idea that she has a particular political or social responsibility as an actor, that her status automatically requires her to set some kind of spotless example.

“I don’t think actors have obligations to have a public role in society,” she says, launching into another soliloquy. “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. 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. 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. 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. That’s my job. The other stuff is not my job.”

If only her co-star Mark Ruffalo would take notice. He is one of the worst Avengers offenders.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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