Scarlett Johansson Sharply Criticized for SodaStream Ad

johanssonActress Scarlett Johansson probably didn’t think her appearance in a SodaStream ad would cause sharp criticism but some people are so incensed that she chose to support an Israeli company with a large factory in the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967. SodaStream is a carbonated beverage and soda manufacturer. The SodaStream ad with Johansson, 29, is to appear during the Super Bowl in February.

Oxfam International is among the critics concerned about Johannson’s endorsement of SodaStream, as she is a global ambassador for Oxfam. The charity that works to end worldwide poverty published a statement on their website, stating that they do not dictate what their ambassadors should do, but they hope Johansson realizes the serious conflict she has created in supporting SodaStream, a company that promotes poverty and oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank. International law states that all trade from Israeli settlements is illegal. Oxfam has not cut ties with Johansson but they are taking into consideration her new role with SodaStream, and what that will mean for her work with the charity. Johansson has been with Oxfam since 2005, and has done a lot of advocacy work with them.

For her part, Johansson released a statement Saturday, explaining her stance but not pulling out of her SodaStream endorsement. She said she”never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance.” While she may preach about peace between Israel and Palestine and equal pay and opportunity for Palestinians, that is not happening in the SodaStream factory in the West Bank, where Palestinians are not allowed freedom of movement. Judging by her statement, is Scarlett Johansson to be blamed for the sharp criticism she’s received for her SodaStream ad?

The West Bank territory has long been a central figure in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The points of contention between the two states are borders, security, the Israeli-occupied areas and control of Jerusalem. Despite attempts to come together to find peace, the conflict has yet to be resolved. International intervention has occurred due to human rights concerns but Israel and Palestine continue to lead an uncomfortable existence alongside each other.

Twitter Talks SodaStream and Johansson

@JewishVoiceForPeace : @Oxfam must immediately drop [Scarlett Johansson] as an Oxfam Global Ambassador if it is to maintain its credibility.
@End the OccupationSo @Oxfam will you dump Scarlett now?
@Emily EarthScarlett Johansson is being used to make SodaStream & Israeli #IllegalSettlements look good. #Boycott
@RaniaKhalekIllegal Jews-only Israeli settlement, Ma‘ale Adumim, is Scarlett Johansson’s peace plan for the Middle East.
@benabyad: @Oxfam It seems Scarlett Johansson has made your decision an easy one, & that “dialogue” didn’t work.
@harris3Good for the environment and bridge to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Buy a soda stream, I did.

 

This is not the only time an actress has caused a fuss about an endorsement deal. In 2009, actress Kristin Davis (Sex and the City) was criticized for her endorsement of a company called Ahava, an Israeli cosmetics company with a factory also in the West Bank. After an angry outcry from Oxfam, for which Davis was ambassador, Ahava let her go. Oxfam let her go, also. Will the sharp criticism of Scarlett Johansson for the SodaStream ad have the same outcome?

By Juana Poareo 

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