In 2018, actress Scarlett Johansson faced a cavalcade of intense criticism from the Left for agreeing to play a transgender man in the movie "Rub & Tug." Eventually, and after enough backlash, she dropped the role entirely. Now she's lamenting how politically correct the casting process has become.
According to Fox News, the Black Widow actress told As If magazine that she "should be allowed to play any person" she wants.
"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," she said. "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."
Johansson added that people should be allowed to have their own feelings and not be forced into conformity. "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," she said.
The actress' statement to As If stands in stark contrast to her apologetic tone with Out magazine in 2018 upon her turning down the role in "Rub & Tug."
"I understand why many feel Dante ‘Tex’ Gill should be portrayed by a transgender person," she said at the time. "I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film."
While Scarlett Johansson has been notoriously left-wing in her political advocacy, her tone in recent months has been slightly more nuanced. When speaking with Variety after the release of "Avengers: Endgame," Johansson even said that the Democratic Party is "broken in a lot of ways."
"Although now is certainly the time to back someone," she said. "I think I have to do a little soul searching. I think the Democratic Party is broken in a lot of ways and just damaged from these past several years. For me, if there was one candidate that I felt we could all unite behind, certainly that would be the candidate that I would back."
"They're out there, certainly. I mean it's been a strange few weeks," she continued. "I think it was clear and then it became sort of unclear."
When asked for her thoughts on former Vice President Joe Biden entering the race, Johansson simply said, "I don't know." As to whether or not allegations of past inappropriate touching will sink him, the actress also said, "I'm not sure."
Johansson saw her star power slightly slip in 2017 when both films in which she headlined — "Ghost in the Shell" and "Rough Night" — failed to attract audiences and critical acclaim. Leading up to the release of "Ghost in the Shell," Johansson actually said that audiences who disagree with her politics should stay home rather than a buy a ticket.
"If fighting, you know, for women’s rights, for women’s reproductive rights, and you know, in support of Planned Parenthood, if that’s going to, you know, mean that some people don’t want to buy a ticket to see 'Ghost in the Shell,' then … I’m OK with that," she told "Good Morning America."