In an interview with her co-star Florence Pugh, Scarlett Johansson discussed what it means for women to be their own allies while working in male-dominated sectors.
Johansson, who topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid actresses in 2019, told Glamour magazine that women are “undermined, underserved, under-appreciated, and underpaid” in the film industry.
The Black Widow actress revealed her mother taught her at an early age that “you have to be your own ally” since “she’d experienced it even more severely than I did.”
“Even when I was a teenager in the industry or a young woman, my mom would have those conversations,” Johansson said, adding that equal pay was an important element of the fight against sexism.
“Like, ‘Why is she not getting [paid the same]?'” There were always these important phrases like ‘bankability’ and ‘box office draw’. All of these terms are just sexism disguised.”
She praised her mother for instilling in her the will to resist sexism, saying, “It’s really a constant fight.” I’m still battling that battle. “We are all.”
During press interviews, Johansson has been known to call out questions from journalists that would not be asked of her male colleagues, particularly if they are on her appearance, diet, or tight outfits.
In one notable interview with Cosmopolitan UK, Johansson advises her Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo on how to respond to “sexist questions” such “What are you wearing on the red carpet tonight?” and “Did you feel much pressure to slim down and go on a diet?”
According to Glamour, Johansson’s standalone Black Widow picture, which opened throughout the world on June 29, is “about the subjugation of women.”
“It’s a film about women lifting each other up so they can thrive,” she explained. “I don’t think you can take that out of the film because it’s an ingredient, and it’s also about time.”
She also called the film “inherently female” because it was directed by Cate Shortland, and said it “sheds light on an imbalance I think women feel inherently because of how our society has been for thousands and thousands of years.”
Black Widow will be released in UK theaters on 7 July and on Disney Plus for Premier Access customers on 9 July.
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