Scarlett Johansson isn’t afraid to wear her feminist credentials on her sleeve – and, in a brand-new interview, she’s opened up about the rampant sexism faced by women in the film industry.
“Some people felt I should talk about my personal struggle in order to shed a spotlight on the greater issue,” Johansson explained to Marie Claire, when asked why she had refrained from commenting on the gender wage gap in the past. “Maybe I'm being presumptuous, but I assumed it was obvious that women in all positions struggle for equality.
“It's always an uphill battle and fight. My experience with my close female friends and family is that the struggle is real for everybody.”
“Just because I'm the top-grossing actress of all time does not mean I'm the highest paid,” she said. “I've had to fight for everything that I have. It's such a fickle and political industry.”
The Avengers Assemble star has always been famously private about her personal life.
However, at the Women’s March on Washington, she announced that it was time to get really “personal” – and she’s made good on her promise to do so, in spite of how uncomfortable it may make her feel.
Johansson added: “Everyone has been discriminated against or harassed. Sexism is real.”
In today’s political climate, Johansson has vowed to keep speaking out about causes that matter to her.
“[I believe] that it is really important to hear people in various positions of power voice their opinions, their story. Why not? Why can't I have the voice? Why can't I use my platform? What's the point of having it if you don't use it? If you don't want to get involved, please, the noise is loud enough,” the 32 year old said. “But if you've got something to say, say it.”
Just a few weeks ago, Johansson delivered a passionate speech about Planned Parenthood, a not-for-profit organisation in the US that provides health services to its citizens, at the Women’s March on Washington.
“For millions of Americans planned parenthood is often the only trustworthy and affordable clinic providing safe education, sex education, safe abortion and life saving services,” she said. “[And] I feel that in the face of this current political climate, it is vital that we all make it our mission to get really, really personal.”
Johansson then proceeded to share the life-saving experiences that she and close friends have had at Planned Parenthood, explaining: “No judgement, no questions asked, Planned Parenthood provided a safe place where I could be treated with gentle guidance,” she said.
“Now, I may have been 15 and surprisingly self-sufficient, but I bet there isn’t one person here who has not been helped by Planned Parenthood, directly or otherwise.”
Criticising lawmakers working against the organisation, Johansson added: “There are real and devastating consequences to limiting access to what should be considered basic healthcare.”
The actor went on to address Donald Trump directly, saying: “President Trump, I did not vote for you. That said … I want to be able to support you, but first I ask that you support me, support my sister, support my mother, support my best friend and all of our girlfriends, support the men and women here today that are anxiously awaiting to see how your next moves may drastically affect their lives.”
Johansson continued: “Support my daughter, who may actually — as a result of the appointments you have made — grow up in a country that is moving backwards, not forwards, and who potentially may not have the right to make choices for her body and her future that your daughter Ivanka has been privileged to have.”
The actor then urged those listening to her speech not to “let the feelings of helplessness make you complacent” in the fight against him. But, as she encouraged them to donate their money to worthwhile causes, her microphone was cut off.
Planned Parenthood tweeted a note of gratitude after the speech.
“Thank you Scarlett Johansson for speaking up for the 1 in 5 American women who’ve relied on Planned Parenthood for care,” they wrote.