After eight years, actress Scarlett Johansson has decided to end her relationship and her ambassador role with Oxfam International. A difference in opinion led the popular actress to step away from the charity earlier this week. Last month, she signed a deal to be the first brand ambassador for the Israeli company SodaStream International, Ltd. SodaStream has come under fire for its large facility that operates out of the West Bank area of Israel. Palestinians claimed the West Bank area after it was captured by Israel in 1967. Oxfam International has banned all trade from Israeli settlements. The charitable organization states Israeli trade is not only illegal, but that they deny Palestinian rights. Johansson obviously does not feel the same, she states she is a “supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine.”
During her eight year relationship with the charity, the star not only raised funds for Oxfam, but she also raised awareness for global poverty. Since her affiliation began in 2007, the actress spread the message of chronic poverty traveling to Sri Lanka, India and Kenya, as well as raising funds for victims of natural disasters in Indonesia and the Philippines. A charity Johansson truly believes in, Oxfam says they are appreciative of the work she has done on their behalf. Despite that, Oxfam stated we are “considering the implications of her new statement and what it means for Ms. Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador.” Given a political ultimatum by Oxfam, she decided to end the relationship before being fired.
This is not the first time this has arisen with a celebrity ambassador for Oxfam International, nor is she the only celebrity to have faced a political ultimatum. Actress Kristin Davis, who is best known for her role as Charlotte in the series “Sex and the City.” She also faced opposition from Oxfam when she appeared in ads for Ahava, a cosmetic manufacturer that operates out of a West Bank settlement. Davis stepped away from the charity while she appeared in the ads, but returned to Oxfam once she was no longer affiliated with Ahava. Although Johansson’s relationship with Oxfam has ended, other celebrities such as singer Annie Lennox and the band Coldplay continue their roles. Prior to their parting, the actress was one of 17 celebrity ambassadors.
The four-time Golden Globe nominee most recently appeared in “The Avengers” and “Her.” The 29-year-old actress’ next appearance is slated to be during an ad for SodaStream which will air during the Super Bowl on February 2. Even though Johansson’s relationship with Oxfam has ended, the controversy surrounding SodaStream has not. The Super Bowl ad has been censored by the network airing the big game, Fox. SodaStream, an at-home soda making product was censored due to criticizing two main sponsors of Sunday’s big show, Coke and Pepsi. Once again, the company SodaStream is called into question. The famed young actress is quickly learning there is always a political side when endorsement deals come into play. Sccarlett Johansson is seeing that even proceeding from the best of intentions can see someone casting you in the villain role with no warning.
By Shannon Malone