Thursday, January 30, 2014


Scarlett Johansson quits Oxfam

Quick pop quiz: Do you remember the names of the artists who played at Sun City during South Africa's apartheid era?
“Scarlett Johansson has abandoned her reputation as a progressive celebrity in exchange for the check that accompanies becoming the new face of Israeli apartheid. Just like the few artists who played Sun City during South African apartheid, Johansson will be remembered for having stood on the wrong side of history.”

Sorry, I know I don't. Probably could go look it up. Even though those are pre-internet dates, there's probably something recorded about it out on the internet. But the point is, I don't remember. I'm the engaged activist type who has a pretty good memory, and thus probably more likely than most to remember. But I don't remember the names. I could probably start to make a few guesses given the dates of this era combined with a list of which celebrities of the era were always likely to be happy to take a check from anyone no matter the smell. Or for that matter, remember which celebrities of the day were likely to just be happy to show up to support a horribly inhuman and evil system. But no, I don't remember who played at Sun City.

However, I will remember this, at least for the next few years. I didn't know who Scarlett Johansson
was until this recent blowup. From the pictures I find that she looks familiar, so I'm sure I've seen her in something along the way. But if you'd walked up to me and just said something about "Scarlett Johansson", I'd have responded with "Who?".

But now, I'll definitely remember the name as someone who's willing to support a truly evil situation in exchange for a big check. That will stick in my mind. The image of someone willing to see people made homeless refugees by 'settlers' who force them off their land and out of their towns, the image of someone who's happy to support the idea that one group of people can use force and violence and torture and intimidation to steal the land and homes of others, the image of someone who's glad to support that evil cause as well as to be willing to abandon good causes like Oxfam just to be able to take home a big check, well, that's something I won't forget for awhile. And it will certainly be the first thing I think of the next time she's out trying to schlock promotional buzz for some movie or tv show or book that she's doing.

When you see me make a face and turn away, then you'll know I remembered.

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