Scarlett Johansson tore into Ivanka Trump today (Apr. 6) at the 8th Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center in New York City. She called the president’s daughter “cowardly” and “disappointing” for failing to speak out on women’s issues.
Yet Johansson’s remarks were not only intemperate, but also hypocritical and disingenuous.
In 2014, Johansson defended alleged pedophile Woody Allen over long-standing allegations he molested his then seven-year-old step-daughter Dylan Farrow, more than 20 years ago.
Farrow questioned in a New York Times article how Hollywood could continue to work with Allen. In her column, she wrote: “What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson?”
Johansson, 32, responded not with sympathy, but a stinging rebuke.
“I think it’s irresponsible to take a bunch of actors that will have a Google alert on and to suddenly throw their name into a situation that none of us could possibly knowingly comment on,” she told the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
“That just feels irresponsible to me,” Johansson said.
To make matters worse, she called the charges against Allen “guesswork.” To the contrary, they’ve been extensively documented, even though Allen was never prosecuted.
Given that history, Johansson remarks today about Trump were eye-opening.
She criticized Trump for “trying to have it both ways” by claiming to be a women’s advocate yet failing to speak out. But Johansson pulled the same trick.
Ivanka has been accused of being “complicit” by her critics because she’s been silent while her father has taken steps to defund Planned Parenthood, rollback LGBT protections and appoint an avowed anti-abortion judge to the Supreme Court.
In a CBS interview with Oprah sidekick Gayle King, Ivanka defended herself. “I would say not to conflate lack of denouncement with silence… I think there are multiple ways to have your voice heard,” she said.
When asked specifically if she was “complicit,” Ivanka replied: “If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit.” (Not withstanding the fact that “complicit” has an entirely different meaning)
Johansson’s remarks came during a session titled ‘Breaking Up the Boys Club: An intimate conversation with Scarlett Johansson about her work, her activism and motherhood.”
Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington conducted the interview.
It opened with a video of Johansson’s recent “Saturday Night Live” skit. The actress impersonated Trump in a faux commercial for a perfume called “Complicit.”
Ivanka Trump came up almost immediately in the conversation.
The actress called Trump’s CBS remarks “uninspired” and “cowardly” and said she was “disappointed” by her actions.
“You can’t have it both ways. If you take a job as a public advocate, then you have to advocate publicly,” Johansson said.
“It’s such an old-fashioned concept to stand behind a man – what about standing in front of him and beside him?”
“She has the power to make a big impact just by being vocal. She’s very well spoken, smart and intelligent woman and engaging. It baffles me,” Johansson said.
Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus and Blake Lively have also been criticized for working Allen.
If only Johansson had felt the same way about the plight of Dylan Farrow, and the courage it took for her to address publicly what Allen allegedly did to her.
Johansson and Allen have had a long relationship. After starring her in three of his films, “Match Point, Scoop, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” he called her “not just a passing pinup girl, but a genuinely meaningful actress.”
She returned the favor, saying she would “sew the hems of his pants if he asked me to.”
That hardly sounds like a feminist response to child sex abuse.
Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest election coverage.