Scarlett Johansson condemns Disney’s ‘misogynistic attack’, said: ‘Studio is trying to hide its misconduct’

The ongoing fierce legal battle between Scarlett Johansson and Disney over the hybrid release of her standalone movie “Black Widow” has caught everyone’s attention. The alleged release of the movie on a streaming platform robbed the actor of a bonus of approximately $50 million. Disney released Scarlett’s movie on Premiere Access, Disney+ ‘s PVOD service after the success of Mulan, Raya, and The Last Dragon as Cruella.

Johansson’s lawyer, John Berlinski said: “After initially responding to this litigation with a misogynistic attack against Scarlett Johansson, Disney is now, predictably, trying to hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration.” He further said that “Marvel’s promises to give Black Widow a typical theatrical release “like its other films” had everything to do with guaranteeing that Disney wouldn’t cannibalize box office receipts to boost Disney+ subscriptions”. Johansson’s lawyers claimed that they have ‘overwhelming evidence’ against the studio.

Disney, however, denied all claims. A filing was made on August 20, which stated that the Black Widow actress was not blindsided and was aware of the hybrid release. “Marvel discussed the hybrid-release-pattern decision with Johansson in spring 2021, as the parties were conferring regarding the Picture’s release date. Marvel has assured Johansson that she will be credited with 100% of the Premier Access and PEHV receipts for purposes of the box-office thresholds used to calculate any additional compensation – even though Marvel has no obligation under the Agreement to do so,” it said.

It further said that the film earned more than $125 million due to the streaming and download of retail receipts on Disney+. Subscribers could gain “premium access” to Black Widow on release day for an extra $30. “As of August 15, 2021, the Picture has grossed more than $367 million in worldwide box-office receipts,”

On July 30, Scarlett filed a case against Disney, which owns Marvel Studios. The lawsuit accused the studio of breaching the terms of her contract. Johansson said her agreement stated that the film will exclusively be released in theatres and her salary was based on the box office performance of the film.

The suit said, “Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, to prevent Ms Johansson from realising the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel”.

Disney’s response was quick and hostile, “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.”