Scarlett Johansson was forced to highlight the difference in questions asked to her, versus her male co-stars at a recent press conference.
It’s a trite tale as old as time; when it comes to press junkets to promote a new film, you can bet your bottom dollar that the female members of the cast will get asked questions within a restrictive, superficial perimeter, while their male counterparts are quizzed on their knowledge or skill of the role they’re playing.
The latest example of this kind of gender stereotyping happened at a group Q&A session for the new Marvel film, Avengers: Infinity War. The conference, held in Los Angeles on the 22 April, saw the whole gang turn up including Chris Pratt (Peter Quill of Guardians of the Galaxy), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and of course, Scarlett Johansson, who plays kick-ass, former elite Russian spy, Natasha Romanova, also known as Black Widow.
But while Hemsworth, for example, was asked to recall which scene he found most challenging to film, Johansson’s moment with the mic was centered around a typically female-orientated question; fashion.
Now, don’t get us wrong, costume design and wardrobe choices for a film are a huge part of the overall aesthetic and a fascinating element of production. But considering the character Black Widow has a very specific look and has been wearing the same outfit for years, it felt like a missed opportunity to ask an incredibly talented and well-known actor about her thoughts on the film.
Hello Giggles reports that a male journalist stepped up to ask Johansson (who has been playing Black Widow since 2010 and is therefore one of the most significant members of the Marvel Universe) what she thought of the fashion of her character in the film.
Unafraid to speak her mind and point out the cliched nature of the question, Johansson retorts back, “Really? I got the fashion question?”
Before continuing, “I honestly really don’t know how to answer that question.”
Although the query initially left her a little stumped, Johansson takes a few seconds and comes back with a razor-sharp response, wryly pointing out why this question wasn’t the best use of air time for her character.
“I wear a leather unitard for most of this film. And, I have been for the last 10 years.
“So if you think of any fashion elements that you would like to include, please let us know. I have a new vest, so that was pretty exciting. And, I have a new hairstyle if you haven’t noticed already. It’s a little bit polarizing, I can see, it’s fine. It was a choice I made, and I’m sticking by it.”
Johansson continued to make her point by chiming in with fashion jokes for the rest of the conference, reminding both her fellow cast members and journalists that just because she is a woman, her interests span much further than what she wears and she expects to be quizzed on more than what she looks like.
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