Ruh-roh. For those who have been fans of Scarlett Johansson a while, her affiliation with the charity group Oxfam should come as no surprise — the actress was named an ambassador for the international aid and development group back in 2007, and has since traveled across the world to bring aid and assistance to developing countries, and those devastated by natural disasters like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It's good work, but one that might be about to come to an end, all thanks to a new endorsement deal: According to the New York Times, Oxfam has slammed Scarlett Johansson's endorsement of SodaStream, an Israeli company that sells home soda-making machines which are all produced in a settlement on the West Bank territory that Israel has been occupying.
In a statement on their website, Oxfam elaborated:
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.
According to Sky News, Oxfam's statement comes after major pressure from pro-Palestinian activists to boycott all trade from companies that operate in the settlements, as they are looking to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank region that has been going on since 1967. The settlements themselves are actually considered to be illegal under international law, but Israel denies this — hence, the issues.
Johansson has not yet made any comments about the controversy, but it seems that a commercial she filmed for the company is still going to air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.