Scarlett Johansson Discusses the Hypersexualization of Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Scarlett Johansson attends the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on 02 February, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In a recent interview with Hello Beautiful, Scarlett Johansson expressed her delight at the evolution of the entertainment industry. Having played the character of Natasha Romanoff for more than a decade, the actress spoke to a group of journalists about the sexualization of her character when she first appeared in Iron Man 2. This discussion took place during a press pool for her upcoming Black Widow feature film.

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When asked about how her experience with the Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed her, Scarlett Johansson stated that she now has a more evolved understanding of herself as a woman and is in a different place in her life. She explained that she feels more forgiving of herself, although perhaps not always enough. This change has been important in moving away from hypersexualizing her character, Black Widow. Johansson highlighted Iron Man 2 as an example of her character’s objectification, stating that although the film had many enjoyable moments, Black Widow was overly sexualized.

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As she reminisced, the actress remembered how her character was discussed as if she were an object or a possession. Natasha was referred to as “one” by Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., when he said “I want one.” Scarlett Johansson acknowledged that this might have been seen as a compliment back then, but her perspective has since shifted. She believes that young women often measure their own self-worth against comments like these.

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Presently, Johansson has a better understanding of her own value and acknowledges a positive change in the character as well. She believes that there is a much more optimistic message conveyed in the latest version. To be a part of this transition and not just be a character but to actually develop it has been an incredible experience for her. You can catch the Black Widow standalone movie on July 9 during its global release.

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