Disney Responds to Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit. If you haven’t been on the internet the last two days or saw that one of the most prolific actresses (Scarlett Johansson) and one of the largest entertainment conglomerates (Disney) are now duking it out in court over a breach of contract here is a quick synopsis:
Per Scarlett Johansson’s contract for Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, a portion of her contract stated the film would have a theatrical-only initial release, meaning the movie would premiere in theaters and potentially premiere on other platforms at a later date. It is no secret that the film was released simultaneously in theaters and via Disney+ Premier Access (D+PA), and though Johansson will still make earnings on the D+PA release, her contract was never renegotiated despite her legal team and representatives had reached out to Disney throughout the pandemic regarding the release of the film when the world was adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the alleged offer to renegotiate, Disney reportedly never responded to Scarlett’s team or offered the chance to renegotiate her contract before announcing and implementing the film’s revised premiere plans. Standing up for herself, Scarlett and her team have chosen to sue Disney over the breach of contract, citing the terms of her contract were broken despite her willingness to renegotiate and being stonewalled by the company through the pandemic.
Johansson’s legal team shared in a statement regarding the lawsuit, “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.” One of Scarlett’s attorney’s in the case, John Berlinski, added, “This will surely not be the last case where Hollywood talent stands up to Disney and makes it clear that, whatever the company may pretend, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts.“
Now, Disney has responded to the suit, claiming Johansson is being dismissive of the effects of the global pandemic for her own gain. The official statement reads, “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. Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.“
This is a developing story, so be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for updates and all things Marvel!
Featured Photo Credit: Marvel Studios
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