How does someone (in this case, Scarlett Johansson) take her considerable gifts as an actress, not to mention her beauty and soulfulness and throw it away for the sake of a product promotion?
It’s one thing to double-down on your corporate Sugar Daddy as she’s done regarding Sodastream, when she abandoned Oxfam for the sake of lucre. But to continue to pimp for settlements and Occupation as she’s done in this Guardian interview is beyond shameful. It should be career-ending suicide, but it won’t be in her case.
Just read the nonsense she spouts here and try not to be sick. In this passage, the interviewer disputes Johansson’s characterization of the Sodastream factory as aiding Palestinians:
But the international community says that the settlements are illegal and shouldn’t be there. “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.”
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.”
So many misconceptions and errors here! It’s hard to know where to start. First, Scarlett dear, there is no debate on settlements unless your agent has been pumping you full of StandWithUs hasbara talking points. They’re just plain illegal. Even your own government, when the sun, moon and stars align properly and no UN Security Council resolution is pending, will admit this to be the case.
As for wrong and right sides–claiming there is no right side and that it’s just an intractable mess, an “impossible situation,” is yet another hasbara talking point. Of course there is a right side, Scarlett. You’re just not on it.
The interviewer continues:
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.
Once again, her hasbara slip is showing. First, Oxfam is a humanitarian organization whose mission is to alleviate suffering. In this case, it works to alleviate Palestinian suffering caused by the Israeli Occupation. That’s NOT a “political cause.”
How she could argue there’s “plenty of evidence” supporting the claim that Oxfam endorses BDS when there is none is startlingly misguided. This woman hasn’t just made a mistake. She’s run entirely off the rails.
The following is the piece de la resistance of the interview, where the reporter is frog-marched from the room for having the chutzpah to violate the rules and ask inconvenient questions:
I don’t get a chance to return to the subject of Under the Skin. The publicist ends the interview. But as a parable for celebrities’ relations with us ordinary folk, the difference in our lives, and that tension between where the power truly lies – With them? With us? – it doesn’t get more acute. There’s even a masked man on a motorbike who goes around scooping up the bodies. I should know – one of them escorts me from the room.
Shameful Scarlett. And frankly, we do give a damn, even if you don’t.