- Women’s advocacy groups have condemned Disney’s response to Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit.
- Time’s Up, Women In Film, and ReFrame signed a statement calling the response a “gendered attack.”
- Johansson is suing Disney over releasing her film “Black Widow” on Disney+ while it’s in theaters.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Three of Hollywood’s most prominent women’s advocacy groups condemned Disney’s response to Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” lawsuit in a joint statement published over the weekend.
Time’s Up, Women In Film, and ReFrame all signed the statement, which described Disney’s response to Johansson’s lawsuit as a “gendered character attack.”
“While we take no position on the business issues in the litigation between Scarlett Johansson and The Walt Disney Company,” the statement read, “we stand firmly against Disney’s recent statement which attempts to characterize Johansson as insensitive or selfish for defending her contractual business rights.”
The statement continued: “This gendered character attack has no place in a business dispute and contributes to an environment in which women and girls are perceived as less able than men to protect their own interests without facing ad hominem criticism.”
Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney, saying it breached her contract by releasing ‘Black Widow’ on Disney+
Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney on Thursday, claiming that the company violated her contract when it released the recent superhero blockbuster “Black Widow” simultaneously on the Disney+ streaming platform and in movie theaters.
A copy of the lawsuit obtained by Insider claims that Johansson’s “Black Widow” contract was for an exclusive movie theater release, with her salary largely based on the film’s box office performance. The suit also alleged that Johansson’s representatives received assurances from Marvel in May 2019 that “Black Widow” would still have a traditional theatrical release when they contacted the company after Johansson grew concerned that Disney had plans to experiment with simultaneous streaming and theatrical releases.
A source told The Wall Street Journal, who first reported the news of the suit, that the actor could have missed out on $US50 ($AU68) million due to the release-strategy change.
In response, Disney fired back with its own statement that disclosed the actress has earned $US20 ($AU27) million to date for the movie.
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” a Disney spokesperson told WSJ. “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The company also claimed that the “Black Widow” release on Disney+ with paying Premier Access “significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation.”
Later, Johansson’s agent Bryan Lourd hit back at Disney, accusing the company of revealing the actress’ pay in “an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman.”
“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,” Lourd said.
Insider’s Katie Canales reported that “Black Widow” earned $US158 ($AU215) million in its global box-office opening and Disney took home $US60 ($AU82) million in sales from at-home viewing purchases.