Scarlett Johansson has ended her relationship with Oxfam, after the human rights organization condemned the actress’ work with Israeli-founded SodaStream.
Johansson is slated to appear in a Super Bowl commercial for the home-soda company, which drew almost immediate controversy upon announcement. Last year, the BDS movement pushed for a viewer boycott of the Super Bowl over its airing of a similar ad for SodaStream, which has a factory in the West Bank.
The BDS movement calls for an end to all Israeli settlements, an international boycott of all goods made in Israel regardless of territory, and a complete end to Jewish autonomy in Israel. The BDS effort is aimed at a one-state solution, that state being Palestine.
Johansson, who is Jewish and supports a two-state solution, has worked as an Oxfam ambassador for eight years. However, Oxfam also supports the boycott of Israeli goods made in the West Bank.
On its website, the group published a statement criticizing Johansson’s SodaStream involvement, leading to the actress’ resignation Wednesday, when Johansson stated she and Oxfam have “a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”
Today, Oxfam wrote that it had “accepted” Johansson’s resignation:
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.
On January 24, Johansson also published a piece in the Huffington Post, explaining her stance on the issue and why she supports companies like SodaStream:
I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights.
That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day. As part of my efforts as an Ambassador for Oxfam, I have witnessed first-hand that progress is made when communities join together and work alongside one another and feel proud of the outcome of that work in the quality of their product and work environment, in the pay they bring home to their families and in the benefits they equally receive.