Scarlett Johansson signed up for a Super Bowl ad, but TV viewers will only be able to enjoy a censored version of it.
The 29-year-old “Avengers” star was filmed in a commercial for SodaStream that was set to be broadcast during Super Bowl XLVIII Â on Sunday, Feb. 2.
FOX, the company that will air the long-expected event, announced earlier this month that the actress has been named the brand’s first-ever Global Brand Ambassador.
“Like most actors, my real job is saving the world,” Johansson, clad in a white robe, claims at the very beginning of commercial.
She then proceeds to the SodaStream equipment to demonstrate. “Start with plain water, add bubbles, mix in the perfect flavor. Look, soda that’s better for you… and all of us. Less sugar, less bottles,” she says.
At one point, the Hollywood star disrobes and appears in a form-fitting black dress while she sips on a soda made by using the SodaStream machine.
“Sorry, Coke and Pepsi,” the actress says looking directly into the camera at the end of the clip.
SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum explained to reportersÂ that Fox declined to show this version of the sweet commercial because of Johanssonâs closing line.
On one level, Birnbaum is incensed:Â âWhat are they afraid of?â he wonders. âWhich advertiser in America doesnât mention a competitor? This is the kind of stuff that happens in China. Iâm disappointed as an American.â
On another, however, he’s quite satisfied with the results of the Fox’s ban: the âuncensoredâ version of the commercial, posted online just yesterday, has already been viewed more than 4 million times on YouTube.
And SodaStream still intends to air its commercial during the Super Bowl 2014 but this version won’t include the offending Coke and Pepsi jab.
“Itâs a win-win situation for the company â although some people wonât be happy with Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream no matter what the ad says,” Entertainment Weekly suggests.
“SodaStream is an Israeli company that manufactures home carbonating devices and soda flavorings in an IsraeliÂ West Bank settlement. Itâs got a host of opponents, including Oxfam, an international aid groupÂ with which Johanssonâs been working since 2007 â one that also opposes âall trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law,â the tabloid concludes.
And while the actress attempted to âclear the airâ about her endorsement deal with a statement readingÂ that âSodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rightsâ â herÂ critics remain unmoved.
A typical argument: âEven if an Israeli company is green, or treats its workers better than other establishments, it does not make up for the fact that it is situated on land held by force, whose native population is ruled against their will and demand an end to the occupation,â blogger Mairav Zonszein explains at the web magazineÂ +972. âIs that really such a difficult concept to understand?,â the blogger wonders.