Actress and Democratic activist Scarlett Johansson is under fire because she is standing behind her decision to become the first brand ambassador for the Israeli carbonated beverage kit maker SodaStream. Johansson will also star in the company’s upcoming Super Bowl commercial, which was edited after first being rejected by Fox and the NFL.
“I just watched Amy Holmes’ Hot List. You can find it at YouTube.com/TheBlaze but you really need to watch this… today’s was on the Super Bowl commercials that have been cancelled. And one of them was SodaStream,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Now, this is Scarlett Johansson’s company that she’s representing, and she has been in so much trouble because she’s supporting an Israeli company. If I’m not mistaken, Scarlett Johansson probably hates my guts… but see, here’s the thing: She’s seen the merits of a free capitalist company that does good things.”
On Thursday, the aid organization Oxfam, asked Johansson to give up her ambassador role because “Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in [West Bank] settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.”
The only problem with that logic: SodaStream actually employs 900 Palestinians in its West Bank manufacturing plant, and the company supports Arab-Jewish equality and coexistence.
“[Not] all companies are good. But this company… they are trying to do the right thing,” Glenn said. “Yes, they’re Israeli. Yes, they’re in the ‘West Bank’… Yes, they have their offices and their headquarters in Judea and Samaria. But she stands by it [even] with all the pressure that she’s come under.”
On Friday, Johansson released a statement to the Huffington Post, in which she 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.”
“I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine,” Johansson said. “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”
As for the SodaStream commercial that will air this Sunday, the company edited its original ad that called out its competitors – Coke and Pepsi. Pepsi sponsors the Super Bowl’s half-time show.
“Now Fox has not taken the SodaStream money because there was an end that needed to be changed, and they changed it and so Fox accepted the ad. But what their problem was is that it said, ‘Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.’ And so they first rejected it on that. I don’t believe that for a second,” Glenn said. Have you ever heard of cola wars? Hello!”
Check out the SodaStream ad (pre-edit) and some other ads you may not be seeing Sunday night courtesy of TheBlaze’s Amy Holmes and The Hot List: