How one of the most powerful women in Hollywood totally humiliated Theresa May

Scarlett Johansson and Theresa May

As one of the top-grossing actresses in Hollywood, and the highest-earning one globally, Scarlett Johansson is a power player. And she’s not letting that influence go to waste.

As the Intercept reported, she’s actually used it to veto the involvement of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in a forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster. This is no small setback for Mohammed bin Salman, who’s been putting tons of effort into branding himself as a “great reformer”.

Johansson’s reaction to Saudi Arabia’s “charm campaign” couldn’t be more different from that of the UK’s top female power player: the prime minister. In fact, the Hollywood actor’s position puts Theresa May to shame.

Sod off

The film in question is based on a memoir called It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario. The memoir details the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist’s extensive career documenting conflicts around the world. Addario has worked in numerous countries, including Palestine, Libya, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone. The impact of conflict on maternal mortality is an area of particular interest for Addario. As she explains:

Many of the countries I was working in no longer had the medical facilities or professionals necessary to treat the population – from trauma injuries to chronic illness, or something as basic as maternal health… For me, as a visual storyteller, I felt compelled to capture this.

Johansson will play Addario in the movie.

During a conversation with the New York Times’s Nicholas Kristof on 23 October, the photojournalist revealed that bin Salman was originally going to be one of the “main funders” of the film. Saudi Arabia, however, currently stands accused of dismembering and murdering a journalist.

Read on...

Addario claimed Johansson was unhappy with bin Salman’s interest in the project, though, saying:

Scarlett Johansson said absolutely not. She said: ‘This guy is perpetuating the war in Yemen. He has women in prison…’

Come closer

Theresa May’s reaction to the ‘guy’ who’s waging the war in Yemen was a little different, of course. The UK government has approved at least £4.7bn in arms sales to Saudi Arabia since its bloody assault on the country began. It’s also done so against the wishes of its own citizens. And it entered into a secret ‘Military and Security Cooperation Agreement’ with Saudi Arabia amid the onslaught.

Meanwhile, the UK government seems to be taken in by the Saudi crown prince’s charm offensive. It, for example, appeared to accept the findings of an investigation into a “war crime” in Yemen that Saudi Arabia conducted into itself. After a story broke in August about the kingdom’s plan to execute a female human rights activist, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt even praised Britain’s “close” relationship with the country.

Given its record, then, we don’t expect Theresa May’s government to follow Johansson’s lead on Saudi Arabia anytime soon.

This is one occasion for sure where many people will be wishing real life was more like Hollywood.

Get Involved!

– Ask Theresa May and your MP to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Take action with Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Join The Canary if you appreciate the work we do. And see more articles on Saudi Arabia at The Canary Global.

Featured image via ET Canada/YouTube and Independent/YouTube

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed