Skip to main content

Oxfam loses Scarlett Johansson over SodaStream ads and Jewish settlements

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 8:32 AM EST, Thu January 30, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Johansson stars in an ad for soda machine maker SodaStream
  • Oxfam accuses SodaStream of manufacturing in Jewish settlements on the West Bank
  • The company says it manufactures on the West Bank
  • Johansson's Super Bowl ad for SodaStream hit a previous snag with Fox network

(CNN) -- Bubbly water and politics haven't mixed well for Hollywood actor Scarlett Johansson. After recovering from a kerfuffle over a Super Bowl ad she appears in, she suffered a painful blow over it Thursday.

Her starring role in the campaign for a machine that puts the fizz into water and soft drinks cost her her starring role as the public face of the charity Oxfam.

Although she officially resigned, the poverty-fighting organization says her representation of the company that makes the machines is a conflict of interests.

Oxfam and human rights activists accuse Israeli company SodaStream of manufacturing its product in Jewish settlements in the impoverished Palestinian territories.

See Scarlett's rejected Super Bowl ad

They view this as an exploitation of Palestinians and their resources.

"Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support," the poverty fighters said in a prepared statement.

"Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law."

On its website, the company says it manufactures on the West Bank, as well as in Israel, Germany, Sweden, the United States, Australia, South Africa and China. Calls to SodaStream's headquarters were not answered Thursday.

It touts its products as ecologically friendly, as they help consumers avoid buying plastic soda bottles.

Johansson has been nominated for at least three Golden Globes and currently stars as the voice of a computer app in the popular feature film "Her," according to her IMDb profile. She also has Jewish roots.

For eight years, Johansson publicly advanced Oxfam's work for survivors of calamities from Sri Lanka to the Philippines.

Oxfam thanked her for her service.

The previous snag Johansson hit with the ad came from television network Fox, but was quickly fixed.

Fox, which will broadcast the Super Bowl on Sunday, nixed Johansson's ad, which was slotted to run during the sporting mega-event. In it, Johansson dissed competitors Coke and Pepsi, which left Fox feeling uncomfortable.

SodaStream made sure the mention quickly hit the cutting room floor for the Super Bowl version, but it has retained the jab in its online version of the ad.

CNN's Aaron Smith contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:01 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
updated 8:39 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
updated 2:55 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT