Scarlett Johannson exited the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Black Widow, but made clear she wasn't fully out the door after filing a lawsuit against Disney, alleging breach of contract.
The alleged breach occurred when Disney allowed the movie a simultaneous release in theaters and on Disney+. Johansson and her lawyers claim that the move was done without her consent and that it deprived her of potential earnings.
"In the months leading up to this lawsuit, Ms. Johansson gave Disney and Marvel every opportunity to right their wrong and make good on Marvel's promise," the lawsuit stated.
"Disney intentionally induced Marvel's breach of the Agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel."
@Variety You know I really do get the issue. Disney charged more than the Theatres to see that movie and I know she… https://t.co/Z0fluiQb5S— Robert Jones (@Robert Jones) 1627597101.0
@Variety I know this is super accurate but 🥴 https://t.co/1ZaeELuu12— Willard Wonkard and the Hennessy Factory (@Willard Wonkard and the Hennessy Factory) 1627582477.0
@Variety Regardless of whether she’s rich or not. If you had an agreement and contract in place about compensation… https://t.co/GVzUau0q2w— Link in the bio (@Link in the bio) 1627584186.0
@Variety Although she has every right to take legal steps, I just wonder after an initial 20 MILLION salary from th… https://t.co/POhh6cNboZ— JIMBO SOLAR (@JIMBO SOLAR) 1627656953.0
@Variety Doesn't D+ charge something ridiculous like $30 to watch a new release on the platform? It's not like it's… https://t.co/goQqEzP78w— Jay (@Jay) 1627588524.0
Disney has fired back Johansson's lawsuit holds "no merit whatsoever."
"The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson's contract 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."
Disney, when you say "callous disregard", maybe you should think about those theme parks you currently have open. https://t.co/AI20WXfVAJ— Mathew Buck (@Mathew Buck) 1627661702.0
the replies are full of people not understanding how contracts works https://t.co/M1rsJ9xrOM— emilia the pollster (@emilia the pollster) 1627623387.0
Disney lashing back at an actress who's merely fighting for what she was owed and promised by calling her greedy an… https://t.co/7VV6oRt89O— Suchin Mehrotra (@Suchin Mehrotra) 1627621291.0
Since when big corporations care about the covid pandemic 🥳🤡 https://t.co/BnyF2PKpye— Gary (@Gary) 1627617525.0
Johansson's lawsuit said that Disney's promise to release Black Widow exclusively theatrically was broken when Disney realized that the pandemic was still raging and theaters were not necessarily safe.
Johansson's lawyers say that Disney saw the film as an "opportunity to promote its flagship subscription service using the Picture and Ms. Johansson, thereby attracting new paying monthly subscribers, retaining existing ones, and establishing Disney+ as a must-have service in an increasingly competitive marketplace."
an astoundingly bold comment for a company that reopened a florida theme park in july 2020 https://t.co/KBwmVsyFW4— Trevor J. Mitchell (@Trevor J. Mitchell) 1627613186.0
Cool. Can they at least pay the creators for making millions off their work, then? Since it's a pandemic and many o… https://t.co/svXhrBPBBD— Heather Antos (@Heather Antos) 1627612262.0
Hey @Disney, nice work using a plague that killed upwards of 600,000 Americans as an excuse for screwing an actress… https://t.co/hUkPsHYGcb— MZS (@MZS) 1627611300.0
this you? literally this morning? @DisneyStudios https://t.co/5MOXIKmE5J https://t.co/3fcoBZNG02— off-brand elsa ♡ (@off-brand elsa ♡) 1627611076.0
If someone sues you for breach of contract, and you respond with an angry tirade about covid, you absolutely breach… https://t.co/2suMkUn4bx— Back off, War Child (@Back off, War Child) 1627608229.0
The lawsuit has not been settled nor has it begun court proceedings.