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US actress rejects funding for film from Saudi prince

Actress Scarlett Johansson has reportedly rejected funding from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for an upcoming film.

The actress was supposed to star in a movie about Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario, which was going to be directed by Ridley Scott.

In an interview with the New York Times, Addario said Johanson’s call to reject funding was made before the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi officials last week said Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was killed in a fist-fight at its consulate in Istanbul.

“Scarlett Johansson said absolutely not,” Addario told the New York Times on Wednesday. “She said: ‘This guy is perpetuating the war in Yemen. He has women in prison.’”

The photojournalist noted the reason bin Salman wanted to be a part of the film was a part of a larger “charm campaign” which would make the West believe the crown prince was interested in American culture.

Bin Salman went to Hollywood in April, and met with movie stars and studio executives, including actor Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey.

“A pleasure to have a private dinner with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman,” Johnson said in an Instagram post after meeting bin Salman.

Johanson has previously come under fire for quitting the charitable organization Oxfam because of her rejection of the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestments movement.

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