Award-winning actress and part-time SodaStream salesperson Scarlett Johansson has left her role at the charity Oxfam due to her new position with the carbonated drinks company. Johansson had been an ambassador for Oxfam for eight years, but blames "a fundamental difference of opinion" for the soured relationship. The Avengers and Her star came under fire recently for endorsing SodaStream, an Israeli company that manufactures some of its products on what the United Nations defines as occupied territory in the West Bank.
Johansson's SodaStream commercial, which the company says is banned from the Super Bowl, as it mentions Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
A statement sent to the Associated Press says Johansson "respectfully decided to end her ambassador role" due to differing opinions about "the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement." It adds that she remains "proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."
"Building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine."
In the wake of the mini scandal, Johansson went on record saying she was a "supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine," and added that SodaStream is "building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine" by employing 500 Palestinians alongside 800 Jewish and Arab residents of Israel.
Oxfam publicly took issue with Johansson's stance, saying it was "considering the implications of her new statement" and "what it means for Ms. Johansson's role as an Oxfam global ambassador." The whole saga has played out in a matter of days, with intense interest and viral videos swiftly escalating the issue. It's unclear if today's news represents an ethical decision on either Oxfam or Johansson's part, or if the two parties decided a public spat over the deal would draw attention away from the real issues of worldwide humanitarian crises and uncarbonated household water.