Jo­hans­son’s not an MBS fan.

The Mercury News Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Martha Ross mross@ba­yare­anews­ CELEBRI­TIES

Even be­fore the killing of Ja­mal Khashoggi, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son re­port­edly sus­pected that Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man was a re­pres­sive and morally cor­rupt na­tional leader and re­jected fund­ing from him for her next film.

Un­like White House se­nior ad­viser Jared Kush­ner, or other Hol­ly­wood fig­ures bin Sal­man met dur­ing a whirl­wind U.S. trip in April, Jo­hans­son was not charmed by the young Mid­dle East royal who has re­cently tried to present him­self to the world as a re­former and glob­al­ist.

The ac­tress still wasn’t charmed af­ter learn­ing that the 33-year-old crown prince wanted to fund her new film, which is di­rected by Ri­d­ley Scott and in­which she would play Pulitzer Prize-win­ning pho­to­jour­nal­ist Lynsey Addario, The Guardian re­ported.

“Scar­lett Jo­hans­son said ab­so­lutely not,” Addario said in a Face­book in­ter­view with Ni­cholas Kristof of The New York Times. “She said: ‘This guy is per­pet­u­at­ing the war in Ye­men. He has women in prison.’ ” Addario added: “Thiswas be­fore the killing of Khashoggi, when he be­came one of the main peo­ple who wanted to fund the movie.”

Bin Sal­man has re­cently been im­pli­cated in the death of Wash­ing­ton Post con­trib­u­tor Ja­mal Khashoggi, who died in the Saudi em­bassy in Turkey af­ter writ­ing crit­i­cally about bin Sal­man’s rule, The Guardian re­ported. Addario, the au­thor of a new book, “Love and War,” said she sus­pected that the crown prince may have hoped for a pub­lic re­la­tions win by bankrolling a movie about a fe­male jour­nal­ist whose work fo­cuses on global con­flicts, in­clud­ing the ef­fect they have on women.

“I didn’t meet with him per­son­ally,” Addario told Kristof. “But my sense is that he prob­a­bly — my movie got folded into this huge charm cam­paign. And that fact that he wanted to show the west that he was into Hol­ly­wood, he­was into all the great things of the west… Do I want him as­so­ci­ated with this movie? Ob­vi­ously not. And thank God he’s not.”

Jo­hans­son’s up­com­ing film, orig­i­nally set to be di­rected by Steven Spiel­berg, is based on Addario’s mem­oir, “It’s What I Do.”


Scar­lett Jo­hans­son was ap­proached by Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man about money for a movie, but she said no to his of­fer.

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