Scarlet Johansson has no regrets quitting Oxfam for SodaStream ad campaign

Hollywood star says she knew about controversial factory on the West bank before signing with soft drinks company

 

Scarlett Johansson has said she stands by her decision to appear in an advertising campaign for the Israeli-based soft drinks company SodaStream, which has a factory in a settlement on West Bank.

 Johansson denied her deal with the brand – which led to her quitting as an ambassador for Oxfam – was a mistake.

She said: “No, I stand behind that decision,” adding, in an interview with the Observer: “I was aware of that particular factory before I signed. And it still doesn’t seem like a problem – at least not until someone comes up with a solution to the closing of that factory and leaving all those people destitute.”

Johansson quit her role as an ambassador for Oxfam in January after working with the charity for eight years.

At the time, Oxfam had come under fire from pro-Palestinian campaigners over the placement of SodaStream’s factory, as the charity considers Israeli settlements on the West Bank to be illegal.

Oxfam had written to Johansson to explain that while the celebrities who volunteer to help the charity are independent, as an organisation it officially “believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support”.

Johansson said she now understands that British opinion on the status of the West Bank is more clear cut than she has found elsewhere, but the fact that the UN, the Red Cross and the International Court of Justice have all agreed the factory clashes with international law, has not changed her mind on the issue.

 

She said the case against the factory was not clear, and something that is “very easily debatable”.

“In that case… I was literally plunged into a conversation that’s way grander and larger than that particular issue. And there’s no right side or wrong side leaning on this issue,” she added.

Johansson also alleged that Oxfam had supported and funded a BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) movement, which the charity denies.

She said: “I think for a non-governmental organisation to be supporting something that’s a political cause… something feels not right about that to me. There’s plenty of evidence that Oxfam does support and has funded a BDS movement in the past. It’s something that can’t really be denied.”

The ad campaign for SodaStream that caused the furore was due to be shown during the Super Bowl ad break earlier this year, but was banned by broadcaster Fox for the inclusion of the line: “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi”.

The campaign aimed to promote SodaStream as an ethical soft-drinks company as it does not use plastic bottles, unlike Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat