Scarlett Johansson has stepped down as a global ambassador for Oxfam International because the charity opposed her endorsement of SodaStream, a company that operates in an occupied West Bank settlement.
The organization, which works toward ending poverty around the world, accepted the Johansson’s resignation on Thursday after it could not condone her sponsorship of the company, which allows customers to make soda at home.
“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,” the organization said in a statement. “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. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”
The “Avengers” star began working with Oxfam in 2005 to help highlight the impact of natural disasters, while raising funds to save lives and fight poverty. According to a statement Johansson’s representatives gave to the Associated Press on Wednesday, the actress cut ties with the charity due to “a fundamental difference of opinion” over SodaStream’s large factory in the West Bank.
“Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years,” the statement said. “She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam.”
Johansson signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International Ltd. earlier this month, and appears in the company’s Super Bowl commercial airing on Sunday. An “uncensored” version (above) of the 30-second spot went viral online this week after SodaStream announced it was banned by Fox.
The network would not allow the company to directly call out competitors, as Johansson ends the commercial by saying, “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”
Oxfam first expressed concern about Johansson’s role with SodaStream last week after Johansson responded to criticism from pro-Palestinian activists over the company’s operation in a territory captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians.
Johansson said she was a “supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine.”