Scarlett Johansson has taken the war to Disney’s doorsteps. As the Black Widow actress filled the role for one last time, she sued Disney for putting Black Widow on Disney+. The platform is a streaming service owned by Disney, but by putting the movie up for grabs, the multi-billion dollar company failed to consider that it’s not part of Johansson’s contract.
Johannson isn’t backing away, and it seems that her actions have spooked the company. While Disney considers settling the issue behind closed doors (via Deadline) they aren’t doing so without slandering the Black Widow actress at all.
Daniel Petrocelli, who represents Disney, filed a claim on Friday which stated that the company hadn’t breached anything in the contracts. He argued that Johannson got exactly what was written in the contract; a wide release. The contract terms didn’t exactly say that the release was supposed to be strictly theatrical.
Disney has agreed to add the revenue from the movie streams to the total box-office collection of Black Widow. That gives Johansson exactly what she wants. But Petrocelli stated that it’s a “futile effort to evade this unavoidable result (and generate publicity through a public filing),” as well as “gamesmanship.”” Johansson’s attorney John Berlinski responded:
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. Why is Disney so afraid of litigating this case in public? Because it knows 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 in order to boost Disney+ subscriptions. Yet that is exactly what happened – and we look forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence that proves it.
Scarlett Johansson has potentially started a movement where stars can fight against the injustices that big companies try to pass off unnoticed. Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in DCEU, also accused Warner Bros. of a lot of things, but never followed it up with legal action.
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