Disney Slams Scarlett Johansson's 'Black Widow' Lawsuit, Says She Already Earned $20 Million for Her Role
Move over, Captain America and Iron Man – it seems yet another Avengers-related civil war is in full effect – this time, between Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson and Marvel's parent company, Disney. After the star made headlines on Thursday for filing a lawsuit against the media giant, alleging that the hybrid release of her character's eponymous film in theaters and on Disney+, where subscribers could access the flick for an additional $30, was a breach of her contract, Disney has struck back, slamming the actress's alleged “callous disregard” for the Covid-19 pandemic, and questioning the legitimacy of the legal move.
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” a representative for Disney told Deadline. “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
In the suit, the actress and her team say that releasing the film both in theaters and on Disney+ was a calculated business decision, aimed at increasing subscriptions to the service and therefore raising Disney's stock price, ultimately preventing “Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” as her pay was to be “largely be based on box office receipts.” Yet the company seemingly disagrees with this take, citing the star's alleged compensation in denying these assertions.
“Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract,” the representative continued. "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.”
Although it is unclear what, exactly will come of this suit, with Johansson's attorney, John Berlinski, speculating that other stars will also speak out against these integrated release models, it seems one thing is for sure – AVENGERS: ENDGAME SPOILER ALERT – Black Widow will probably stay dead within the cinematic universe. F in the chat for Natasha Romanoff's MCU future.
Top Image: Disney/Marvel