Scarlett Johansson speaks out over ‘sexualised’ Black Widow

‘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 sexualised’

Peony Hirwani
Thursday 17 June 2021 07:06

Trailer: Marvel Studios’ Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson says she’s happy that her superhero alter ego Black Widow is no longer “sexualised” and treated “like a possession” like it used to when she made her first appearance as Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2.

The 36-year-old actor has played the role of Romanoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade.

The actor who is to reprise her role for the seventh time in the forthcoming Black Widow spoke to Collider about how her own growing maturity as a woman has influenced the depiction of her character.

She said: “Obviously, 10 years have passed and things have happened and I have a much different, more evolved understanding of myself. As a woman, I’m in a different place in my life, you know? And I felt more forgiving of myself, as a woman, and not — sometimes probably not enough.”

“I’m more accepting of myself, I think. 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 sexualised, you know?” she said.

“Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever — like a piece of a**, really,” she added.

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow

The Avengers star also mentioned how Robert Downey Jr’s character Tony Stark even refers to her as “something like that at one point ... (he says) ‘I want some’”.

“Yeah and at one point (Tony Stark) calls her a piece of meat and maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean?” Johansson said.

Tony Stark Meets Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2

The actor continued explaining how her thinking was different back then. “Maybe I even would have, you know, 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,” she said.

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She continued by talking about how things are changing and how young girls are getting a much more “positive message” and that it’s been “incredible” to be a part of “that shift” to be able to come out on the other side “and be a part of that old story, but also progress”.

Black Widow was originally set to be released in May 2020, however, the film faced repeated delays due to the pandemic – and it will now be released on 7 July 2021.

The prequel will be released simultaneously in select cinemas and on Disney Plus, where it will be available for a premium fee.

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