Entertainment News

  • 31 January 2014, 11:48

Scarlett Johansson Quits As Oxfam Ambassador

Scarlett Johansson has ended her relationship with Oxfam after receiving criticism for her support of SodaStream, which has a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

The actress's spokesman said the 29-year-old, who was an ambassador for the charity, has "a fundamental difference of opinion" with the humanitarian group which opposes all trade from Israeli settlements.

Oxfam says the settlements are illegal and deny Palestinian rights.

"Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years," a statement  from the actress said.

"She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."

Oxfam said it accepted Johansson's resignation and that it is "grateful for her many contributions".

The charity said: "While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms Johansson's role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.

"Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, 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."

Earlier this month, the Her star signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International, and will appear in an advert for the at-home fizzy drinks maker during the Super Bowl on February 2.

SodaStream has come under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for maintaining a large factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians.

In response to the criticism, Johansson said last week she was a "supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine".

Oxfam took issue with Johansson, noting it was "considering the implications of her new statement and what it means for Ms Johansson's role as an Oxfam global ambassador".

Johansson had served as a global ambassador for Oxfam since 2007, raising funds and promoting awareness about global poverty.

She travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty.

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