Scarlett Johansson Calls Woody Allen Criticism 'Irresponsible'


Scarlett Johansson is speaking out for the first time about the Woody Allen sexual abuse allegations.

Johansson was of the Hollywood stars named in Dylan Farrow’s open letter in The New York Times regarding abuse she says she sustained at the hands of her father, Allen. Johansson told The Guardian what it was like to be named in the letter and what she thought of it:

“I think it’s irresponsible to take a bunch of actors that will have a Google alert on and to suddenly throw their name into a situation that none of us could possibly knowingly comment on,” Johansson said. “That just feels irresponsible to me.”

When asked about the the impact on her relationship or affection for him the allegations have had, Johansson answered “I don’t know anything about it. It would be ridiculous for me to make any kind of assumption one way or the other. ” Either that’s mismatched question/answer from The Guardian reporter or that is the most bizarre side-stepping of a question ever.

Even more interesting is her answer to how she feels about the backlash against Allen:

“I’m unaware that there’s been a backlash. I think he’ll continue to know what he knows about the situation, and I’m sure the other people involved have their own experience with it. It’s not like this is somebody that’s been prosecuted and found guilty of something, and you can then go, ‘I don’t support this lifestyle or whatever.’ I mean, it’s all guesswork.”

Wait—how can she not be aware of a backlash? What kind of beautiful, Swarovski-crystal encrusted bubble to you have to live in to at least not be aware that there is some kind of backlash (or at least a push back)against Allen and the Hollywood community at large over this issue? Regardless of who you believe or what side you stand on, it’s still pretty impossible to ignore that aspect of the story.

The actress also responded to questions about the controversy over her role as a spokesperson for SodaStream, which caused her tow step down as ambassador for Oxfam. SodaStream owns a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam opposes such businesses on the grounds that they are illegal. When Oxfam reached out to the actress regarding her role as a SodaStream sponsor, she opted to resign from the charity.

Johansson told The Guardian she not only stands behind that decision, but that she was aware of the existence of the factory before signing on with SodaStream. “[I]t still doesn’t seem like a problem,” she said. “Until someone has a solution to the closing of that factory to leaving all those people destitute, that doesn’t seem like the solution to the problem.”

When questioned about the legality of the settlements, Johansson replied “I think that’s something that’s very easily debatable. In that case, I was literally plunged into a conversation that’s way grander and larger than this one particular issue. And there’s no right side or wrong side leaning on this issue.”

The Guardian pressed her for more details on the matter:

Except, there’s a lot of unanimity, actually, I say, about the settlements on the West Bank. “I think in the UK there is,” she says. “That’s one thing I’ve realised… I’m coming into this as someone who sees that factory as a model for some sort of movement forward in a seemingly impossible situation.”
Well, not just the UK. There’s also the small matter of the UN security council, the UN general assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice… which all agree that they’re in contravention of international law. Half of me admires Johansson for sticking to her guns – her mother is Jewish and she obviously has strong opinions about Israel and its policies. Half of me thinks she’s hopelessly naive. Or, most likely, poorly advised. Of all the conflicts in all the world to plant yourself in the middle of…
“When I say a mistake,” I say, “I mean partly because people saw you making a choice between Oxfam – a charity that is out to alleviate global poverty – and accepting a lot of money to advertise a product for a commercial company. For a lot of people, that’s like making a choice between charity – good – and lots of money – greed.”
“Sure I think that’s the way you can look at it. But I also think for a non-governmental organisation to be supporting something that’s supporting a political cause… there’s something that feels not right about that to me. There’s plenty of evidence that Oxfam does support and has funded a BDS [boycott, divest, sanctions] movement in the past. It’s something that can’t really be denied.” When I contacted Oxfam, it denied this.

The Guardian’s full interview with Johansson is here.

Image via Getty Images.

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