Scarlett Johansson Defends SodaStream Endorsement Amid Controversy

Expand | Collapse
(PHOTO) REUTERS/Stefan WermuthScarlett Johansson poses in London

Scarlett Johansson is addressing criticism of her endorsement of SodaStream, an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank, with a statement this week.

Just one week before her SodaStream ad appears on television during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, the actress issued a statement explaining her position as the company's first global brand ambassador. Pro-Palestinian activists have targeted the company for operating in West Bank, an Israeli territory claimed by the Palestinians.

In the statement, Johansson said that she "never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance" while joining SodaStream International Ltd.

"I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine," Johansson said, according 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."

Johansson also came under fire from Oxfam International, a humanitarian group that opposes "all trade" from Israeli settlements under the belief that they are illegal and unjust toward Palestinians. Nevertheless, Johansson has raised funds and promoted awareness of global poverty as a global ambassador for Oxfam since 2005. The actress went on to address Oxfam directly in the statement to the Huffington Post, saying she was "proud" of her work with the group but that she would continue to endorse SodaStream.

"Even though is it 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," the actress said.

Meanwhile, SodaStream offers a machine that allows users to make their own carbonated water from home. The economical product is also eco-friendly with no heavy bottles to carry, store at home or throw away. The product is available on for around $80.