Disney Claps Back Against Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit
The Scarlett Johansson lawsuit against Disney had many tuned in to find out how Disney would respond. If you remember, Johansson is suing for breach of Black Widow contract by Disney releasing the film in theaters and Disney +. At signing, Johansson’s contract specified that the film would be exclusively in theaters. Scarlett’s lost over $50-60 million in denied profits. The film made $218 million in just the first week alone.
Disney calls out Johansson for “callous disregard for…effects of Covid-19 Pandemic.”
The Iconic brand, called out the actress regarding Scarlett Johansson lawsuit for breach of contract. Then, Disney fired back, calling her out for her “callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Additionally, Disney issued this statement,
“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.”
According to Disney, via Variety, “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.”
Of course, Disney is addressing the clause in her contract. That clause stated Johansson’s compensation was tied to the box office performance of “Black Widow.” Therby, that clause encouraged Scarlett Johansson in promoting the film. If Black Widow earned well in the Box office, a certain undisclosed threshold, then Scarlett would receive bonus cash incentives. It isn’t clear if Scarlett received those incentives that Disney claims she got. Additionally, it does not sat if the monies promised were calculated with the new earnings including the Disney premiere earnings. Disney + charged a $30 premium to stream the film for subscribers.
Setting a Precedent
If Scarlett’s lawsuit succeeds, it will impact the way actors negotiate contracts and increase opportunities for further compensations. Her attorney issued the following statement:
“…ignoring the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films in furtherance of this short-sighted strategy violates their rights and we look forward to proving as much in court.
Marvel Email: “If things should change…”
Marvel Chief Counsel Dave Galluzzi addressed an email to the actress. In that email, that may be used as evidence in trial, he wrote,
“We understand that should the plan change, we would need to discuss this with you and come to an understanding as the deal is based on a series of (very large) box office bonuses.”
At this time, the public hasn’t been informed if the suit will see trial or if it would be settled out of court.