The name Scarlett Johansson never fails to make headlines, be it for her amazing performance or for simply existing. Honestly, we all have been head over heels for her since she starred as the Black Widow. Scarlett has succeeded to make yet another headline. And it is all about Disney Vs. Scarlett Johansson. Actually, Scarlett sued Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, for breaching her Black Widow contract. And here is what you may want to know about the ongoing fuss.
On Thursday, Johansson filed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing breach of contract when Black Widow debuted simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+. Scarlett is upset because of the initial contract between her team and Marvel Chief Counsel Dave Galluzzi. The contract was made in 2019, in which he promised a traditional theater release. In such case of Disney releasing Black Widow on Disney and theatre, both can limit the possible amount of her point-based earnings.
Johansson’s attorney John Berlinski said “It’s no secret that Disney is releasing films like Black Widow directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company’s stock price. And that it’s hiding behind COVID-19 as a pretext to do so,” in a statement to Vanity Fair. “But ignoring the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films in furtherance of this short-sighted strategy violates their rights. And we look forward to proving as much in court. This will surely not be the last case where Hollywood talent stands up to Disney and makes it clear that, whatever the company may pretend, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts.” This sudden attempt of Disney looked quite futile because they did to gain more subscribers while not respecting the artist’s contracts. No wonder why Scarlett was on fire.
Disney explicitly fired back at the lawsuit, claiming there was “no merit” to it. Moreover, it said her legal action was especially sad and distressing. Likewise, Disney instead claimed that the dual release strategy had “significantly enhanced [Johansson’s] ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20m she has received to date”. Disney claimed that they fully comply with Ms. Johansson’s contract.
It doesn’t seem like Scarlett is the first person to take on a studio over back-end payments. Earlier this year, both Emily Blunt and John Krasinski reportedly sought additional financial compensation from Paramount in the wake of the studio’s decision to bring A Quiet Place Part II to Paramount+ 45 days after its May 28 opening. Maybe the current allegations by Scarlett will warn Disney to think once, before breaching the contract.
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