Pate Six - Scarlett Johansson spoke out ahead of the release of “Black Widow” about the way her Marvel character is treated like a “piece of ass” in past films.
While on set for her first standalone film in the franchise, the actress revealed her contempt for the hypersexualization of her character, also known as Natasha, specifically in the “Iron Man” sequel.
“I mean, you look back at ‘Iron Man 2’ and while it was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualized, you know?” Johansson, 36, said during a 2019 roundtable discussion part of a press visit to the set of the upcoming movie, according to HelloBeautiful. “Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever — like a piece of ass, really. And Tony [Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr.] even refers to her as something like that at one point. What does he say? ‘I want some.’ “ ...
“At one point [Tony] calls her a piece of meat, and maybe, at that time, that actually felt like a compliment,” she said.
Johansson said that her character uses her sexuality as both “a means to feel” and a tactic to manipulate the people around her.
This is a prime example of the world we've created. Pick a cliche. The bed we have made, and now must lie in. We've painted ourselves into a corner. We have our cake, now we've got to eat it too. Which isn't the right idiom and actually doesn't fit but I felt like I needed a third example.
In an effort to do the right thing and try to spare the feelings of people who've been done wrong, we now have a situation where not only does Scarlett Johansson feel she has to lie about looking amazing while kicking all sorts of major ass in the most successful film franchise in history, we're expected to do our part by pretending to agree with her. We're supposed to quietly bow our heads, nod at the terrible injustice done to her in the MCU and quietly whisper, "Never again." We know she's not being honest. But we have to be dishonest and playact like she really does feel like she was marginalized and objectified. Because that's the way the game is played now.
You know why her Black Widow character is "hypersexualized" in the Marvel Movies? Because she's hypersexual. As is ScarJo, who just so happened to be the perfect casting choice. She looks incredible. No one can wear a cat suit in an action scene like she can.
And just as importantly, has all the traits that makes Natasha Romanov sexy as hell. It's not like she's some princess who needs to be rescued all the time. She's smart. Fearless. Resourceful. Clever. Fercrissakes, she's the only woman in a boys club of enhanced humans, heavily armored tech geniuses and literal gods, and stood shoulder to shoulder with them while they stopped an alien invasion. Without a single superpower other than her training and own personal awesomeness.
But right. Let’s go work ourselves all into a lather over the fact that this highly empowered and heroic character receives the dreaded Male Gaze from Tony Stark. Who happens to be a billionaire playboy. And attracted to extremely attractive women in the exact size and shape of Scarlett Johansson. Oh, the horror.
But like I said, we’re expected to play along. Because actual women were actually creeped on by actual creeps by Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer and deserve everyone’s support, somehow that translates into feeling bad because a fictional character was considered desirable in movies with a giant green monster and a sentient robot. We can’t have one without the other.
Still, this is another one of those stories that makes you appreciate how well we’re doing as a culture. When one of our biggest problems is one of the most beautiful women on the planet - playing a character “who uses her sexuality” as a weapon to save the world - is really sexy while saving the world, then we are running out of problems.