Scarlett Johansson is dropping her title as global ambassador for Oxfam so that she can keep that title with SodaStream.
Her first ad for the Israeli soda kit company will run during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.
The conflict is focused on SodaStream’s large factory in the West Bank, an Israeli settlement claimed by Palestinians. Oxfam, an international humanitarian organisation, considers such settlements to be illegal under international law and is against all trade from them.
Johansson’s publicist defended the actress’ position in a statement:
Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years. She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.
On Tuesday, a group of activists met with Oxfam representatives at Oxfam America’s headquarters in Boston to urge the organisation to cut ties with ScarJo.
Shortly after SodaStream announced its partnership with Johansson on Jan. 10, human rights groups from Los Angeles and New York delivered a petition with almost 12,000 signatures to Johansson’s representatives requesting that she end her brand sponsorship.
Oxfam’s statement suggests that it may have given Johansson an ultimatum:
Oxfam has accepted Scarlett Johansson’s decision to step down after eight years as a Global Ambassador and we are grateful for her many contributions.
While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.
Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, 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. Ms. Johansson has worked with Oxfam since 2005 and in 2007 became a Global Ambassador, helping to highlight the impact of natural disasters and raise funds to save lives and fight poverty.
The initial edit of Johansson’s Super Bowl commercial for the company recently gained a lot of attention after Fox banned it from its broadcast for directly attacking Coke and Pepsi, huge Super Bowl sponsors, at the end. A new cut of the 30-second ad below will be televised instead:
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