Scarlett Johansson's SodaStream Super Bowl commercial causes trouble with Oxfam
Super Bowl commercials don't usually bring up human rights issues, but Scarlett Johansson has found herself right in the middle of a controversy over a SodaStream commercial planned for the big football event. Oxfam has objected to Johansson endorsing a product manufactured in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
According to the New York Times, the problem comes because Johansson has been an Oxfam global ambassador for several years. When word of the movie star's endorsement of SodaStream came out, activists began pressuring the international-aid group for a reaction.
SodaStream, a company that manufactures home-carbonation systems, makes its products in a West Bank plant. Critics claim that SodaStream profits from lax labor laws and controversial tax advantages by using this location. The company disputes these claims.
In response to the issue, Oxfam added a note to Johansson's bio page on its website.
"Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors. However Oxfam believes that businesses 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.
We have made our concerns known to Ms. Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues."
There has not been a public response from Johansson or SodaStream on the situation. As of now, the commercial is scheduled to debut during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2.