Scarlett Johansson criticises âhypersexualisationâ of Black Widow in Iron Man 2
Scarlett Johansson has spoken out against the sexualisation of Black Widow in Iron Man 2, the 2010 blockbuster in which her character first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series.
Speaking to Collider in the run-up to the release of the standalone Black Widow film, Johansson said: âWhile [Iron Man 2] was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualised, you know? [She is] really talked about like sheâs a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever â like a piece of ass, really. And Tony even refers to her as something like that at one point â¦ âI want some.ââScarlett Johansson and a decade of gender politics in the Marvel universe Read more
Johansson appears to be referring to the scene in Iron Man 2 when, as Natalie Rushman, Black Widow meets Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) for the first time. After flicking through a series of pictures of Rushman, including one of the character in lingerie, Stark tells Gwyneth Paltrowâs Pepper Potts: âI want one.â (Potts earlier refers to Rushman as âa very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling herâ.)
Johansson added: âMaybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean? Because my thinking was different â¦ My own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment [but], like a lot of young women, you come into your own and you understand your own self-worth.âScarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Iron Man 2. Photograph: FranÃ§ois Duhamel/AP
Johansson went on to say that âyoung girls are getting a much more positive messageâ and that âitâs been incredible to be a part of that shift and be able to come out the other sideâ.
Johansson praised the âmove away from the kind of hypersexualization of this characterâ in the new Black Widow film, which co-stars Florence Pugh and is directed by Cate Shortland. She said: âIâm a mom and my life is different. Obviously, 10 years have passed and things have happened and I have a much different, more evolved understanding of myself. As a woman, Iâm in a different place in my life, you know?â