Scarlett Johansson Defends Her Role as SodaStream Spokesperson

By: Shana Norris - March 10, 2014

Back in January, Scarlett Johansson was at the center of a controversy regarding her new role as SodaStream’s first official spokesperson. Soon enough, however, public attention shifted to her current and upcoming movie roles and the news that she’s expecting a baby with fiancé Romain Dauriac.

But in an interview published on Friday in The Telegraph, Johansson revisited the controversy.

SodaStream is headquartered in an Airport City, Israel office park that sits at the junction of Haifa, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. Its main manufacturing facility is located in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

“I’m not an expert on the history of this conflict, and I’ve never professed to be,” Johansson said. “But it is a company that I believe in, that I think has the ability to make a huge difference, environmentally. [SodaStream’s CEO] Daniel Birnbaum has said many times that this factory is one he inherited, and that he doesn’t want to fire people – the majority of those people being Palestinian.”

In late January, Johansson ended her ambassadorship with humanitarian organization Oxfam International after they took issue with her SodaStream deal.

She released a statement addressing her decision to part ways with Oxfam:

“Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years,” it said. “She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.”

Oxfam’s response: “Oxfam has accepted Scarlett Johansson’s decision to step down after eight years as a Global Ambassador and we are grateful for her many contributions. While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.”

“Some of the best times of my life have been when I’ve travelled with Oxfam to see the amazing work that they’ve done,” Johansson said after her resignation.

She has vowed to continue using her celebrity to advocate on behalf of others, saying she plans to travel to Africa later this year to draw attention to the refugee situation there.

“The bigger issue here is global poverty. I have the ability to raise awareness and raise money – that’s a gift that’s been given to me – and I want to continue to use it. So I’m not going to shy away from doing that kind of work.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author

Shana NorrisShana Norris is a writer, reader, runner, coffee guzzler, and chocolate inhaler who dreams of becoming an Avett Brothers groupie. You can follow her on Twitter, Google +ShanaNorris, and Pinterest or on her blog at ShanaNorris.net.

View all posts by Shana Norris
  • True and Correct

    Seems like Scarlett walking back her “pro” Israel stance. Just another p.c. Hussein following lefty from hypocritical dumbed down hollywood.

    • parakeet

      you’re a racist ignorant individual. Oxfam clearly support a racist cause that has nothing to do with what they are supposed to try to accomplish.

    • shutupandknit

      Anti-occupation is not the same as anti-Israel for most folks. Israel exists, the problem is that the current set of behaviors in Israeli society and politics is anti-palistinian sovereignty. No moral person could support the behavior of the Israeli’s in the occupied territories.

      • parakeet

        You are a bigot and a racist who doesn’t want to know what the real facts are. Palestinians are victims of their own doing. Nobody is anti Palestinian sovereignty. They need to stop playing victim and take responsibility for the years of terror that they have inflicted on others and stop blaming Israel. once they recognize Israel is a Jewish State they can move on and finally create a legacy of their own. They have had many chances and in life you have to compromise.

  • Tom Reeve

    An Israeli company employing Palestinians. What does the far left want besides the annihilation of Israel? Are we going back to Nazi beliefs and ethics? Oxfam can skru themselves. It’s a business, not a political entity, in a country where Palestinians vote and are represented.

  • Shein Ariely

    Part 3
    !! Israel !!!
    1:Al-Jazeera:
    “why the Syrian army,Hezbollah,Islamic groups cannot be humane like the Israeli.””

    2:Israeli doctors fixed the reversed ventricles-a 4-year boy – his father said,
    “We always heard in the Arab media how children from the Gaza Strip and
    the West Bank were receiving medical treatment in Israel.”

    Palestinians and Hisbula are firing rockets targeting Israel hospitals.

    3: Israel provided medical treatment in Israeli hospitals to 700 Syrians,food and winter closes to Syrian villages nearby Israeli border>

    4:Israel’s Education Ministry has launched a national program to encourage pre-school children in Arab communities to love reading .Maktabat al-Fanoos(“Lantern
    Library”)will deliver 4 free books to over 45,000 children in 1,750 kindergartens to bring home and read with their families.

    5: Christians Israel:
    Israel is the one country in the Middle East where the Christian population has
    grown from 34,000 in 1948 to more than 155,000 in 2014.

    6:SPECTATOR from UK
    “”WHERE ELSE WOULD MEMBERS OF AN ENEMY CONDUCTIONG
    A NOT STOP WAR OF DISTRUCTION, TERRORISM GET SUCT TREATMENT? ISRAEL HAS NOT MODIFIED ITS HUMANTARIAN”

    7: Internet usage:
    University of the People is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free,
    accredited online institution where degree people worldwide can get academic degree over internet.
    Founded by Israeli Shai Reshef.

    !!!You don’t hear-don’t see -don’t speak and you act against the above!!!!!
    ***However you promote –boycott the defending Israel ****
    —————————————————-

    ******* Although the above facts the boycotters support the Palestinian ******
    !!!!!!! Mirror-mirror tell me who are the unmasked boycotters!!!!!!!

  • Shein Ariely

    Part2
    !!!!! Arabs+ Iran status !!!!!!

    1:In Lebanon: By law Palestinians cannot work in over 50 professions.

    2:In Saud Arabia:
    Deny:Women equality-human rights-religious freedom-fund hate preaching and
    teaching of infidels worldwide

    3:In Iran:
    Gays are executed-Teachers of Bahai religion are hanged-husband can kill his
    adulterous wife without punishment-a woman is punishable by death.

    4:In Jordan:Punishing by death sailing land to Jew

    5:Christians in Arab states:
    *Christians now make up 5% of the population,down from 20% in the early 20th
    century mainly because emigration due ethnic,religious persecution and
    killings.

    6:Millions flee away from Muslim countries.Not a single person immigrates to
    Muslim countries.

    7: Internet usage:
    Homemade bombs free guidelines used by terrorists worldwide.
    Hate indoctrination free articles and books of all non Muslim cultures.
    Masking Islamists agenda by laying to infidels in all languages- the truth
    Islamist over all agenda is published in Arabic and Iranian languages>

    !!!You don’t hear-don’t see -don’t speak and don’t act against the above!!!!!
    *****boycott the defending Israel *******