Friday, January 24, 2014

Scarlett Johansson and the (BDS) Politics of Celebrity Ambassadors

This is a truly bizarre controversy. Johansson's a progressive Jewish leftist, and yet she comes under the jackboot of the anti-Israel left.

At the Times of Israel, "Scarlett Johansson responds to SodaStream criticism":

Scarlett Johansson photo dolce-gabanna-scarlett-johansson_zpse32481ea.jpg
American actress Scarlett Johansson released a statement Friday about the controversy surrounding her role as the first-ever brand ambassador of the Israeli company SodaStream. Her public comments were made after she came under fire for the endorsement deal from the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

“While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I’d like to clear the air,” Johansson’s statement, published by The Huffington Post, read.

Since SodaStream named Scarlett Johansson the first-ever brand ambassador of its sleek, sassy seltzer makers earlier this month, the BDS movement has demanded that the starlet step down from the post, plastering the Twittersphere with blood-soaked ads bestowing upon Scarlett an “A for Apartheid.”

Their beef with the beverage company? Its principal manufacturing plant, which is located in the industrial strip of Ma’aleh Adumim, a major West Bank settlement. Many in the BDS movement, a global campaign that urges its supporters to withhold patronage of any Israeli-made goods and services, began tossing the term “blood bubbles” around the Internet, while others cried foul over Johansson’s role as an Oxfam ambassador.
In other words, a completely manufactured controversy --- i.e., a "nontroversy" if there ever was one.

More at the New Yorker (which buys into the BDS baloney), "THE POLITICS OF CELEBRITY AMBASSADORS."

And at the New York Times, "Scarlett Johansson’s SodaStream Endorsement Deal Conflicts With Charity Work, Aid Group Says":
The international aid and development group Oxfam has distanced itself from one of its own global ambassadors, the actress Scarlett Johansson, since she agreed to become the face of SodaStream, an Israeli company that makes products in a settlement built on West Bank territory Israel has occupied since 1967.

In a statement added Wednesday to a web page on Ms. Johansson’s work for the charity, Oxfam said that while it “respects the independence of our ambassadors,” the group also “believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.” For that reason, the statement concluded, “We have made our concerns known to Ms. Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues.”