Black Widow Chronicles: Scarlett Johansson is Suing Disney


Black Widow Chronicles: Scarlett Johansson is Suing Disney

Summer 2021 promised to be extremely hot throughout the world, and we’re not just talking global warming. In fact, Marvel studio’s has been cooking up another spicy action-packed spy thriller. The movie follows the story of none other than the Black Widow herself. Production has been going since 2019, thus when it was released on July 14, 2021, hungry MCU fans were more than ecstatic to see their beloved femme fatal on a big screen.

The audience reception and release, as of August 1, 2021, Black Widow has grossed $167.1 million in the US and Canada and a worldwide total of $343.6 million.

However, it turns out that for the leading actress, Scarlett Johansson, box office triumph was not something to celebrate.

Why Is Scarlett Johansson Suing Disney?

On Thursday, in Los Angeles Superior Court, Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit. The actress is suing Disney for breach of contract, claiming that the studio’s decision to release the movie simultaneously on streaming and theatres hurt her earnings. Johansson claims that in her agreement with Disney, the company assured her that Black Widow would have a “theatrical-only” release. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Black Widow movie had both theatrical and streaming services’ releases.

After discovering the theatre-streaming release pattern, Johansson’s lawsuit stated her representatives attempted to renegotiate her contract. Unfortunately, Disney was unresponsive. However, according to the suit, the studio did not respond when Scarlett Johansson’s lawyers attempted to renegotiate her agreement with the company. The suit further states that Disney’s decision and action prevented the actress from realizing the full benefit of her work with Marvel.

Meanwhile, the only response offered to the suit is that Disney says the suit is without merit. The company has also added that the actress is disregarding the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


What’s the Big Issue?

Covid-19 brought chaos to every aspect of our everyday lives. The movie industry was no exception as it suffered great losses after most theatres were closed during the lockdown. The event that occurred later and movies that lost a lot due to the restrictions is no joke. However, the movie audience had no other choice but to stay home, and the industry was trying to survive; streaming services seemed to be the only sane option to try.

One way or another, streaming services may prove to be a mixed blessing for actors. In fact, it is true that nowadays, those actors receive less money upfront in the current system. However, they are not penny-less as the backend payments provide a steady stream of earnings later.

As a result, the National Association of Theater Owners called the castigating streaming “a pandemic-era” artefact.

Even though Disney is trying to stay solid in its response to Johansson’s claims, the outcome of this case could have repercussions on Disney’s bottom line.

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