Scarlett Johansson is hitting back at those criticizing her for appearing in an upcoming Super Bowl ad for SodaStream, a company that operates a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
As the first global brand ambassador for the Israeli drink company that sells products to let consumers carbonate their own beverages at home, Johansson said she "never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation, or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream," but wants to "clear the air."
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"I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine," the actress said in a statement to the Huffington Post
. "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."
The 29-year-old "Her" star faced backlash last week from Oxfam International, an organization that seeks to end global poverty. Johansson has served as an Oxfam global ambassador since 2005.
"Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors," reads a statement
posted on the organization's website. "However Oxfam believes that businesses 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."
The company said, however, that it doesn’t plan to terminate its relationship with the actress.
In her statement to Huffington Post, Johansson addressed the Oxfam situation directly.
"I believe in conscious consumerism and transparency and I trust that the consumer will make their own educated choice that is right for them," she said. "I stand behind the SodaStream product and am proud of the work that I have accomplished at Oxfam as an Ambassador for over eight years. Even though it is a side effect of representing SodaStream, I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two-state solution in the near future."
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