Hollywood is still reeling from the legal drama that ensued when Marvel star, Scarlett Johansson slammed a lawsuit on Disney. After more than a decade of a close relationship, this turn of events was certainly unexpected.
Johansson, who starred in “Black Widow,” filed a suit against Disney in July this year. She alleged that the movie’s simultaneous release in theaters and Disney+ was a breach of her contract.
Disney quickly issued an opposing response, and it seems both parties have decided to let the law be the mediator in their fight.
While fans of the star are waiting to see how it all ends, some of her colleagues have been quite vocal about the case, voicing their support for her decision to sue the film giants.
Let’s take a look at all that has happened below.
How It Started
Fans had to wait a long while for the release of “Black Widow.” After several pushbacks due to the pandemic, the action-packed movie was finally released on July 9, 2021.
The movie premiered simultaneously in the cinemas and on Disney+, grossing almost half a billion dollars as its cumulative earnings.
For all intents and purposes, the movie’s excellent debut should have been a cause for celebration as it had the largest grossing of the pandemic era.
However, twenty days after its premiere, Johansson busted a cap at Disney and accused them of swindling her of some possible earnings based on how they released the movie.
The actress took the fight further and filed a lawsuit against them. In the documents, she complained that Disney’s release strategy cost her a pretty penny in backend compensation.
She further stated that it contradicted a stipulation in her contract with Marvel that guaranteed a traditional theatrical release for “Black Widow.”
“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” a statement from the lawsuit read.
The film giants did not make light of the situation and issued a statement of their own that same day. They claimed that Johansson was talking bollocks and was disappointed by her actions.
The statement read, “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Also, in the statement, the film giants turned up the heat on the whole issue by revealing the salary she earned for Black Widow.
It said, “the release of Black Widow on Disney+ has significantly enhanced (Johansson’s) ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”
Disney’s response only succeeded in attracting scorn from actors and audiences alike.
Johansson’s Agent Calls Disney’s Bulls**t
Disney’s response did nothing to calm the troubled waters, it rather cooked up a storm bringing a retort from Johansson’s agent, Bryan Lourd wasted no time in firing back and issued a statement to support the actress while lambasting the film company.
“(The Walt Disney Company has) shamelessly and falsely accused Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an attempt to make her appear to be someone they and I know she isn’t,” he said.
Lourd then ranted about how Johansson’s presence in the MCU has earned Disney truckloads of money.
“Scarlett has been Disney’s partner on nine movies, which have earned Disney and its shareholders billions.
The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of.”
“Scarlett is extremely proud of the work that she, and all of the actors, writers, directors, producers, and the Marvel creative team have been a part of for well over a decade,” he concluded.
Other Celebs’ Point Of View On The Issue
Many Celebrities have not kept quiet on the tug of war between Johansson and Disney. Top of the list is another Disney star, Elizabeth Olsen from “WandaVision.” She acknowledged Johansson bravery saying;
“I think she’s so tough and literally, when I read [about the lawsuit] I was like, ‘Good for you Scarlett,’ when it comes to actors and their earnings, I mean, that’s just… that’s just all contracts. So, it’s either in the contract or it’s not.”
Another celeb, Gabrielle Carteris, the president of the Screen Actors Guild association voiced her opinion on the matter too.
“On behalf of the actors union, Disney should be ashamed of themselves for resorting to tired tactics of gender-shaming and bullying.”
“Actors must be compensated for their work according to their contracts. SAG-Aftra is “deeply concerned by the gendered tone of Disney’s criticism of Ms. Johansson,” she stated.
Whatever the results of the lawsuit turns out to be, Johansson might have just opened a Pandora box that would not be closing anytime soon.