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Scarlett Johansson’s Woody Allen Defense Ignites Backlash Amid Oscar Buzz

The actress is back at the center of controversy just as Oscar buzz for her performance in "Marriage Story" takes off.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

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Scarlett Johansson is at the center of backlash once again for defending Woody Allen in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Johansson was Allen’s muse in the mid-2000s as the star of “Match Point,” “Scoop,” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Following Johansson’s dramatic breakthrough in “Lost in Translation,” her work with Woody Allen help solidified her as one of the most sought-after actresses in the world. Johansson’s “Match Point” performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

“I love Woody. I believe him, and I would work with him anytime,” Johansson said when asked about Allen, who has been accused of sexual abuse by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. “I see Woody whenever I can, and I have had a lot of conversations with him about it. I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.”

Johansson’s defense was met with widespread criticism on social media. Human Rights Campaign communications writer Charlotte Clymer slammed the actress by writing, “At this point, I think the only identity Scarlett Johansson hasn’t tried to culturally appropriate is a person with integrity.”

Pod Save America co-host Jon Lovett was even more damning, writing, “What a judge of character Scarlett Johansson must believe herself to be, so capable of knowing when she is being deceived or not. It’s the kind of arrogance you have to really hone over many years. What child molesters did she find less convincing in her interrogations?”

Lovett listed some of the takeaways from Allen’s case to show he’s not as innocent as Johansson believes; items include: “Babysitter reports finding Allen with his head in Dylan’s lap, pediatrician calls police after Dylan describes separate assault, Allen was in therapy for his contact with Dylan, judge denying Allen custody of Dylan.”

Michael Cuby, Them editor at large, wrote, “Scarlett Johansson vehemently defending Woody Allen, further solidifying herself as one of the worst people working in Hollywood. You really hate to see it.”

Social media users were quick to call out Johansson for defending Allen while also championing the Time’s Up anti-harassment movement. Johansson has been with Time’s Up since its launch and has spoken at various public events in support of sexual harassment and abuse victims.

Johansson’s Allen defense is only the latest controversy the actress has found herself in this year. Over the summer, Johansson earned backlash for an interview in which she tried to defend her casting choices by saying that “in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody.” Johansson has been a prominent face of Hollywood’s whitewashing problem after leading the “Ghost in the Shell” remake and signing on to star as a transgender man in “Rub and Tug.” Johansson dropped out of the latter role.

The latest Johansson controversy arrives just after the actress earned career-best reviews at the Venice Film Festival for her leading role opposite Adam Driver in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.” The drama continued to pick up Oscar buzz at Telluride and next hits TIFF and

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