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Scarlett Johansson Says Black Widow Was Treated Like A 'Piece Of Ass' In First Marvel Film Appearance

Scarlett Johansson Says Black Widow Was Treated Like A 'Piece Of Ass' In First Marvel Film Appearance
Marvel Studios

Misogyny in Hollywood is nothing new; nor is misogyny in comic book characters anything new, but folks like Scarlett Johansson are trying to send a clear message to the people in control of these things that that will not stand.

Johansson, renowned for her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, a Russian assassin who ultimately ends up working for the Avengers, said that she felt Romanoff's character was far too oversexualized in her first film appearance.

"You look back at Iron Man 2 and while it was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualized," she said, recalling how Romanoff went undercover as an assistant for Tony Stark, only to be ogled by him.

"Really talked about like she's a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever — like a piece of ass, really."

"At one point [Tony Stark] calls her a piece of meat and maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment," Johansson continued, commenting on how the hyper-sexualization at first felt like the point of the character and Johansson's fear that it was the only reason she was working.

"Because my thinking was different. ... My own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment."

Johansson's own perception of the character, as well as fans' perceptions of her, have evolved.

Johansson's perception of herself has also changed.

"I'm a mom and my life is different," she said. "Obviously, 10 years have passed and things have happened and I have a much different, more evolved understanding of myself."

"As a woman, I'm in a different place in my life, you know? And I felt more forgiving of myself, as a woman, and not — sometimes probably not enough. I'm more accepting of myself."

The topic of Hollywood's misogyny and penchant for sexualizing women and making "gross" comments about the bodies of working women has been an ongoing discussion since the release of Framing Britney Spears. It has been addressed by celebrities such as Jennifer Love Hewitt.

It remains a problem that will not go away on its own.