News World Oxfam ditches ScarJo

Oxfam ditches ScarJo

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Actress Scarlett Johansson has severed ties with Oxfam following controversy triggered by her decision to become a brand ambassador for SodaStream, a drinks company which operates in an Israeli settlement on the occupied West Bank.

The decision sparked outrage among Palestinian advocates which urged Oxfam to end its relationship with the Hollywood star.

The dispute began when Johansson announced that she would be the new face of the drinks brand, launching a raunchy Super Bowl ad that instantly went viral, and led to calls from supporters of Palestine that she step away from her work with the aid organisation.

They argued it was inappropriate for an Oxfam representative to also support a brand which operates on illegally developed land seized from Palestine during the 1967 war. Oxfam agreed with them.

The charity was quick to announce that they had opened a discussion with Johansson, who defended herself in a Huffington Post blog post saying that she “never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance”.

On Wednesday, Johansson announced that she was stepping down from her role as Oxfam ambassador due to a “fundamental difference of opinion” and reinforced her support for SodaStream.

Oxfam accepted her decision, acknowledging that her new position was incompatible with her role at the charity. They said SodaStream and similar companies were responsible for “furthering the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.”

The charity still has Helen Mirren and Colin Firth.

You can watch ScarJo’s ad for the company, banned from the broadcast because of its mention of competitors Pepsi and Coke, below: