Washington D.C.: One year after actor Scarlett Johansson decided to exit upcoming film 'Rub and Tug' following the backlash she received for being cast as a transgender man, the star made headlines for a new interview in which she spoke about politically correct casting and stated that she should "be allowed to play any person.
"The 34-year-old actor clarified her comments made in the interview in a statement to Entertainment Weekly on Sunday, via her representative, claiming "An interview that was recently published has been edited for clickbait 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," Johansson said of her interview with As If Magazine that was published earlier this month.
"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," she added.
"I recognize that in reality, there is a wide-spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favours Caucasian, cisgendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to. I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included," she continued.
Johansson's clarification came after she received flak following some reports on comments she made about political correctness in art in an interview with artist David Salle for AS IF magazine, published last week.
One of the quotes, read, "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." A year ago, the 'Avengers' actor pulled out of the movie 'Rub and Tug', in which she was set to play a transgender character, following criticism from some members of the LGBT community and allies who believe a transgender actor should get the role.
"In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante 'Tex' Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project," Johansson said in a statement to Out Magazine at that time as cited by US Weekly.
'Rub and Tug' is set to be directed by Rupert Sanders, who also helmed 'Ghost in the Shell', which came under fire for whitewashing the protagonist, played by Johansson in a black wig. In the manga on which the movie was based, the main character was Japanese.