July 15 (UPI) -- Scarlett Johansson said the comments she made in As If magazine were taken out of context.
The actress came under fire for the As If interview where she spoke with artist David Salle about political correctness and art.
Johansson said actors should be allowed to portray anyone when Salle asked about acting trends.
"Today there's a lot of emphasis and conversation about what acting is and who we want to see represent ourselves on screen. The question now is, what is acting anyway?" she said.
"You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job," Johansson continued.
"I feel like it's a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions."
The comments relate to Johansson previously being cast to portray a transgender man in the film Rub & Tug. She eventually dropped out of the project in July 2018 amid criticism from trans groups and activists who said a trans actor should be cast in the role.
Johansson responded to the As If article and the backlash she received through her representative.
"The question I was answering in my conversation with the contemporary artist, David Salle, was about the confrontation between political correctness and art," she said. "I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play somebody and Art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness. That is the point I was making, albeit didn't come across that way."
"I recognize that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cis gendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to," she continued.
"I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included."