Scarlett Johansson and the perils of white feminism – Diep Tran – WEDNESDAY, MAR 29, 2017 04:00 PM PDT


By starring in “Ghost in the Shell,” Johansson shows that her intersectional feminism stops at her bottom line

Scarlett Johansson and the perils of white feminism

Ever since Donald Trump was elected, well-meaning white liberals have made their feelings known about where they stand in today’s divisive, bigoted climate: They are allies. They will wear safety pins and show up to at protests in order to show people of color, LGBTQ+ folks and other underrepresented groups that white people stand with them, too.

Scarlett Johansson is one of those people. In January she was one of the speakers at the Women’s March on Washington, an event coordinated by women of color and whose platform emphasized intersectionality. At the march, she addressed Trump, saying, “I ask you to support all women and our fight for equality in all things, including the fight to be recognized as individuals.”

It’s a lovely sentiment, one that is worth supporting. Except I’m not sure she really means it.

A few weeks later in an interview with Marie Claire, Johansson commented on the “Ghost in the Shell” whitewashing controversy. When asked whether she felt the charge of whitewashing with regard to her playing a Japanese character was fair, she answered, “I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person. Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive.”

And then she pivoted: “Also, having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity. Certainly, I feel the enormous pressure of that — the weight of such a big property on my shoulders.”

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