Film

Scarlett Johansson Has Come Out In Defence Of Woody Allen, And Hoo Boy

Scarlett Johansson: clearly not a fan of avoiding controversy.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson sure must like the taste of foot, because she’s been putting her own in her mouth a lot over the last few years.

It all started when Johansson received criticism for her leading role in Ghost in the Shell, an adaptation of the classic anime in which she plays an Asian child relocated into a Caucasian body after an accident. That tone deaf casting choice was roundly disparaged, and the film was released with a distinctly underwhelming commercial splash.

That should have been Johansson’s teachable moment. Instead, she’s doubled down on the ethos that led to her accepting the role in that film. First, she signed on for Rub And Tug, a film in which she was set to play a trans man. She eventually left that project after intense backlash. But only a little while later, she took to the press to announce she should be allowed to play “any person, or any tree, or any animal”. The reason? “Because that is my job and the requirements of my job.”

So yes: yikes.

Now, Johansson has decided to offer up her opinion again, this time weighing into the scandal surrounding Woody Allen.

Allen, a director and comedian, has long faced criticism for marrying his stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn, some 40 years his junior. He has also been accused of abuse by his daughter Dylan.

That second allegation has been shrouded in contention and controversy for many years. In March 1993, a six-month investigation by a Child Sexual Abuse Clinic stated that Dylan had not been assaulted by Allen, and Allen’s son Moses has gone on the record to say that he was present on the day of the alleged assault and saw nothing.  But Dylan and her mother, Mia Farrow, have always maintained that the assault took place.

So in any case: this is a difficult matter, one that needs to be handled with decorum and respect.

Which is exactly how Johansson didn’t handle it.

“I believe him, and I would work with him anytime,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it. I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.”

It’s worth pointing out that Johansson has literally no more authority than anybody else when it comes to this case. She has no special insights; was not present; and is only working off the ad hoc statement given to her by someone who has good reason to lie.

So yeah. Probably would’ve been better to keep quiet on this one, Scarlett.