Scarlett Johansson Calls Out Iron Man 2 for Sexualizing Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson has reflected on her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, and it’s not all wine and roses. Johansson, who has been a part of the franchise for more than a decade now, made her debut in the 2010 sequel. Her character has come a long way since then. Namely, the actress has moved beyond the sexualization of her character that took place in the movie in question.

Black Widow is finally set to hit theaters next month, which will serve as Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited solo MCU debut. During a recent interview in anticipation of the movie, she was asked about the sexualization of superheroes and how that affected the movie. While reflecting on how that has changed during her time in this universe, she criticized Natasha Romanoff’s treatment in Iron Man 2. Here’s what she had to say about it.

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“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, you know? Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever, like a piece of ass, really. And Tony even refers to her as something like that at one point. What does he say? ‘I Want Some.’ Yeah and at one point calls her a piece of meat.”

In Iron Man 2, Natasha Romanoff is an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who is sent to spy on Tony Stark by Nick Fury. And, indeed, there are moments where she is viewed in a sexual light. That became far less prevalent by the time The Avengers rolled around in 2012. Speaking further, Scarlett Johansson dove a bit deeper into how her thinking has changed.

“Maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean? Because my thinking was different. Maybe I even would have, you know, my own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment or, like a lot of young women, you come into your own and you understand your own self-worth. It’s changing now. Now people, young girls, are getting a much more positive message, but it’s been incredible to be a part of that shift and be able to come out the other side and be a part of that old story, but also progress. Evolve. I think it’s pretty cool.”

While, in hindsight, it may have been a rocky start, Black Widow became a huge and beloved part of the MCU. Scarlett Johannson has since appeared in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Sadly, Natasha did meet her demise in Endgame. Black Widow takes place between the events of Civil War and Endgame.

Iron Man 2 may not be the most beloved MCU movie but Scarlett Johansson isn’t the only star to criticize it. Mickey Rourke, who played the villain Ivan Vanko, recently took aim at, not just that movie, but Marvel movies in general, calling them crap.Black Widow is set to debut on July 9. This news comes to us via Collider.

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