My Character Was Treated ‘Like a Piece of Ass’
In a recent interview with Collider, Scarlett Johansson repeatedly indicated that Marvel Studios was sexist in the way it portrayed her character, Natasha Romanoff, in the 2010 film Iron Man 2, saying the fictional character was handled “like a piece of ass” while discussing her upcoming Marvel Studios picture Black Widow.
“Ten years have passed, things have happened, and I have a lot different, more mature knowledge of myself,” Johansson told Collider. “As a woman, I’m in a different point in my life — I believe I’m more accepting of myself.”
“All of that is related to that move away from the kind of hyper-sexualization of this character and, 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 said of her portrayal of Black Widow in Iron Man 2.
“Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever — like a piece of ass, really,” she added. “And Tony even refers to her as something like that at one point.”
“‘I want some’ [said Tony] — who at one point calls her a piece of meat and maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean? Because my thinking was different,” Johansson said.
“My own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment or, like a lot of young women, you come into your own and you understand your own self-worth. It’s changing now. Now people, young girls, are getting a much more positive message, but it’s been incredible to be a part of that shift and be able to come out the other side and be a part of that old story, but also progress. Evolve. I think it’s pretty cool.”
This also isn’t Scarlett Johansson’s first time to cry “sexism” about her treatment in Hollywood. Just last month, she called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association which presents the Golden Globe Awards — saying she has faced “sexist questions” at press conferences. Johansson went on to urge the industry to “take a step back” from the HFPA.
Could this be an indicator that the story of Black Widow is really over? Jeremy Hambly of The Quartering had his own take on this situation.
Other roles Johansson had played weren’t referenced in the interview. Presumably she feels the same about these portrayals.