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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Study finds movie gun violence has doubled since 1950 by Kate Kilpatrick – November 11, 2013 12:15AM ET

Gun violence in PG-13 movies has also more than tripled since 1985, according to the study. The-Avengers

The Avengers, starring Scarlett Johansson, left, and Jeremy Renner, was rated PG-13 due to sci-fi action and violence.
Marvel/Walt Disney Co./Everett Collection

Today’s PG-13 movies are more violent than R-rated ones, according to a new study, “Gun Violence Trends in Movies,” published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The study, funded by the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, looked at a sample of the top 30 films each year since 1950. It found that violence in films has doubled since 1950, and gun violence in PG-13 movies has more than tripled since 1985, when the PG-13 rating took effect. Gun violence remained the same in R-rated movies, and decreased in both G and PG movies.

PG-13 movies took in $5.7 billion at the box office in 2012, according to Box Office Mojo — that’s more than 50 percent of total box office revenue, while accounting for only 18 percent of titles.

“The PG-13 rating is not really being used appropriately to tell people these films actually do show things that might be harmful,” said Daniel Romer, one of the study’s authors.

As for the harm done, Romer cites the “weapons effect” — that merely seeing guns increases the likelihood of aggressive responses, as some studies have concluded. The increasing presence of guns in popular movies, he said, can raise the “weapons effect” on both individuals and society.

“They’re not being used in ways people who defend guns typically talk about — hunting, sport or target practice,” Romer said. “They’re used primarily to maim and kill people. So we think they create scripts that young people learn that’s what a gun is for.”

But some scholars argue that the “weapons effect” doesn’t give a complete picture of the effects of gun violence in movies on society.

More than 200 academics signed an open letter sent to the American Psychiatric Association in September, saying that responsible scholars should “make good faith arguments both that media violence may have some influence on aggression and other outcomes, or that media violence may not have such effects.” The letter said there is pressure to produce only “positive” findings that link media and societal violence.

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