Scarlett Johansson calls Ivanka Trump's comments 'cowardly'

The actress says she is disappointed by Ivanka Trump saying her impact in her father's administration would be unknown. VIDEO: REUTERS
Actress Scarlett Johansson (above) has impersonated Ms Ivanka Trump in a Saturday Night Live sketch.
Actress Scarlett Johansson (above) has impersonated Ms Ivanka Trump in a Saturday Night Live sketch.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Actress Scarlett Johansson has impersonated Ms Ivanka Trump (above) in a Saturday Night Live sketch.
Actress Scarlett Johansson has impersonated Ms Ivanka Trump (above) in a Saturday Night Live sketch.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • Weeks after impersonating Ms Ivanka Trump in a biting Saturday Night Live (SNL) sketch, actress Scarlett Johansson said she was "disappointed" by recent comments made by the United States President's daughter.

In an interview with Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington at the Women in the World Summit in New York City last Thursday, Johansson called Ms Trump "cowardly" for taking a muted approach to leadership by choosing to maintain her views and opinions "behind closed doors".

"It was really baffling," Johansson said. "You can't have it both ways, right? If you take a job as a public advocate, then you must advocate publicly."

Her comments echoed previous criticism that Ms Trump's presence in the inner fold of her father's administration makes her complicit in its actions.

Ms Trump addressed those accusations in an interview with CBS News last Tuesday, saying: "If being complicit is wanting to... be a force of good and to make a positive impact, then I'm complicit."

 

She also said she advocates privately for issues she cares about.

"I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence," she said.

"In some cases, it's through protest and it's through going on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue which you disagree with. Other times, it is quietly, and directly, and candidly."

This mentality is "old-fashioned", Johansson argued, "this idea that behind a great man is a great woman.

"What about being in front of that person or next to them or standing on your own?" she said.

Many powerful women, she said, are often afraid of being seen in an unforgiving light for speaking out.

She said that she has met Ms Trump several times, having grown up in New York City and sharing mutual friends with her and added that she is an intelligent, well-spoken woman.

She acknowledged that the President's daughter must be facing a "complicated situation on many levels", but urged her to embrace the opportunity to "make a big impact just by being vocal".

Last month, an SNL sketch featured Johansson as Ms Trump, dressed entirely in gold, in a commercial for her own perfume.

As Ms Trump walks through a room, drawing stares, a narrator intones: "A feminist and advocate, a champion for women. But, like, how? "She's loyal, she's devoted, but probably should have bounced after the Access Hollywood thing."

The sketch ends with the word now nearly synonymous with Ms Trump among her critics: "Complicit - the fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but won't."

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2017, with the headline 'Scarlett Johansson calls Ivanka Trump's comments 'cowardly''. Print Edition | Subscribe