- The Washington Times - Friday, April 7, 2017

Scarlett Johansson finds first daughter Ivanka Trump’s comments about being more of a behind-the-scenes advocate for change instead of a prominent voice were “uninspiring” and “cowardly.”

The actress laid into Ms. Trump during a discussion with Arianna Huffington at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit in New York City on Thursday. Ms. Johansson, who recently impersonated Ms. Trump in a “Saturday Night Live” skit advertising “Complicit” perfume, said the first daughter is wasting her opportunity in the White House.

“If you take a job as a public advocate, then you must advocate publicly,” she said. “You can’t have it both ways.”

Ms. Trump told CBS News in an interview aired Wednesday that most of the impact she will have over the years will be behind the scenes. She also said critics shouldn’t conflate her “lack of public denouncement” of some of her father’s policies with silence, arguing that there are many other ways to speak up.

“Where I disagree with my father, he knows it, and I express myself with total candor,” she said. “Where I agree, I fully lean in and support the agenda and hope that I can be an asset to him and make a positive impact. But I respect the fact that he always listens. It’s how he was in business. It’s how he is as president.”

But Ms. Johansson thinks Ms. Trump’s thinking is archaic.

“How old fashioned, this idea that behind a great man is a great woman?” she asked. “What about being in front of that person or next to them or standing on your own?”

“It’s such an old-fashioned concept,” she told the audience. “Powerful women often get concerned with this idea that they’re going to be seen in this unforgiving light. Screw that. It’s so old-fashioned, and it’s so uninspired and actually, I think, really cowardly. And I was so disappointed by that interview she gave yesterday.”

Ms. Johansson acknowledged that Ms. Trump is in an extraordinary situation as her father’s assistant, which must be difficult for her at times.

“I can’t imagine how complicated it must be,” she said. “But she has an opportunity to really make a big impact just by being vocal.

“I have met her several times in the past … and she’s a very well-spoken and smart and intelligent woman, and I think engaging, and the whole situation baffles me.”

Ms. Johansson also said she hasn’t yet ruled out running for office, but has no plans for it any time soon.

“I’ve always been interested in local politics,” she said. “I never rule anything out, but I have a very full life right now, with a very young daughter. I have a lot that I want to do still with my career. … I can’t imagine that would be a possibility for a long time.”


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