Almost two months after Scarlett Johansson stepped down from her position as an Oxfam ambassador over her role as the celebrity face of Israeli soda company SodaStream, the actress said she doesn’t regret her decision.
The Avengers actress left her role as an Oxfam ambassador after eight years in January due to what her spokesman called “a fundamental difference of opinion” with the humanitarian group over SodaStream’s factory in a settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam, along with many international groups, opposes all trade from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, saying companies are there illegally.
In an interview with the Guardian, Johansson defended her involvement as a “brand ambassador” for SodaStream, despite criticism over the company’s factory.
“I stand behind that decision,” Johansson said. “I was aware of that particular factory before I signed [on]. … It still doesn’t seem like a problem. Until someone has a solution to the closing of that factory to leaving all those people destitute, that doesn’t seem like the solution to the problem.”
Johansson also resisted her interviewer’s suggestion that the settlements are illegal, saying, “I think that’s something that’s very easily debatable. In that case, I was literally plunged into a conversation that’s way grander and larger than this one particular issue. And there’s no right side or wrong side leaning on this issue.”
Maintaining that SodaStream’s West Bank factory wasn’t problematic, Johansson added, “I’m coming into this as someone who sees that factory as a model for some sort of movement forward in a seemingly impossible situation.”