The actress said that the widely shared photo – which showed her stoic as Travolta leaned in for a smooch on the Oscars red carpet – was simply a moment in time taken out of context.
“The image that is circulating is an unfortunate still-frame from a live-action encounter that was very sweet and totally welcome,” she explained to the Associated Press. “That still photo does not reflect what preceded and followed if you see the moment live.”
She added that she hadn’t “seen John in some years and it is always a pleasure to be greeted by him.”
Johansson, 30, also called him “a class act” and said “there is nothing strange, creepy or inappropriate about John Travolta.”
Later in the night, Travolta poked fun of himself during the Oscar’s broadcast for his infamous flub of Idina Menzel’s name with a rehearsed bit in which he caressed the singer’s face.
“I loved finishing it. It came full circle,” he told Vanity Fair of the Oscars moment.”I loved it because it means I come back [to the Oscars] next year.”