While discussing her upcoming Marvel Studios film Black Widow, actress Scarlett Johansson suggested Marvel was sexist in the way it portrayed her character, Natasha Romanoff, in the 2010 film Iron Man 2, stating that the fictional character was treated “like a piece of ass.”
“Ten years have passed and things have happened and I have a much different, more evolved understanding of myself,” Johansson said in a recent interview with Collider. “As a woman, I’m in a different place in my life — 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 sexualized, you know?” Johansson said of the fictional character she played in Iron Man 2.
“Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever — like a piece of ass, really,” she continued. “And Tony even refers to her as something like that at one point.”
“‘I want some’ [Tony says] — and at one point calls her a piece of meat and maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean? Because my thinking was different,” Johansson said.
The actress continued:
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. It’s changing now. Now people, young girls, are getting a much more positive message, but it’s been incredible to be a part of that shift and be able to come out the other side and be a part of that old story, but also progress. Evolve. I think it’s pretty cool.
This is not Johansson’s first time accusing Hollywood of sexism.
Last month, she called out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) — which presents the Golden Globe Awards — saying she has faced “sexist questions” at press conferences. Johansson went on to urge the industry to “take a step back” from the HFPA.