Scarlett Johansson addresses Woody Allen, SodaStream controversies

Scarlett Johansson in SodaStream’s 2014 Super Bowl commercial.
(Associated Press)

Scarlett Johansson defended herself for working with Woody Allen, who has been accused of sexual abuse by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow, and for promoting SodaStream, an Israeli-owned company that operates a factory in a West Bank settlement, during a recent interview with the Guardian.

Johansson, who has starred in three of Allen’s films, was criticized along with other actors by Farrow in an open letter published in the New York Times last month. Johansson told the Guardian, “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. That just feels irresponsible to me.”

Regarding the controversy, which ignited a firestorm of debate and prompted Allen to respond with his own New York Times op-ed, Johansson said, “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.”

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She added, “It would be ridiculous for me to make any kind of assumption one way or the other.”

Johansson, who will next appear on screen in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Under the Skin,” was also asked about taking heat for her relationship with SodaStream and subsequently stepping down as an Oxfam ambassador.

“I stand behind that decision,” Johansson said, adding that she was aware of SodaStream’s controversial factory before she signed on to promote the company’s products.

“It still doesn’t seem like a problem,” she added. “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.”


Though many in the international community view Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as illegal, Johansson said, “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.”


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