Actress 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
By Juana Poareo