Scarlett Johannson Is Suing Disney and I’m Here For It!
Yesterday the news broke that Scarlett Johannson is suing Disney for an alleged breach of her “Black Widow” contract, claiming that the movies Disney+ release coinciding with the theatrical release made it impossible for certain elements of her contract for the movie to be met and I’ll be honest with you, I am 100% here for this.
Disney have since countered the Black Widow star’s lawsuit saying that it the suit shows “a callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic”. However, to you Disney, I’d like to offer a counter of my own, If you knew that the movie was going to need a Disney+ release alongside the theatrical release, as so many of your pandemic era movies have, then why was Scarlett Johannson’s contract not renegotiated to include the revenue from Disney+ rentals/purchases? Surely you could have avoided yourselves a lawsuit if you had enabled the contract to be fulfilled using Disney+ sales figures too?
This here is where the problem with Disney lies. They are, yet again, showing a flagrant disregard for their talent. They argued against Johannson’s lawsuit further stating that she had already been paid $20 million for the movie, however Johannson states in the initial filing that it’s estimated that the breach of contract has cost her $50 million due to the movie not reaching certain targets at the box office.
Now, “$20 million is still a lot of money Beth” I hear you shouting at your screen, however $50 million is a lot more money, and yes I’m aware that we are talking crazy sums of money here, and I know a lot of people are arguing that $20 million is still more money than anyone could ever need, however, the issue here is about more than just money, it’s about the principle that Disney are arguable mistreating the stars of their movies.
Scarlett Johannson would have signed her contract for Black Widow years before the pandemic hit, (I know this for a fact as in 2019 Black Widow filmed scenes at RAF Upper Heyford airbase, just down the road from my house at the time), meaning that when Johannson signed her contract the pandemic wasn’t even a thought in anyones mind, the contract wouldn’t have been written factoring in any potential release of the movie on Disney+. When the pandemic hit and it became clear that the movie would also be getting a Disney+ Premier Access release, it would have been so simple for Disney to swoop in and renegotiate the contract allowing for Johannson’s pay structure for the movie to include revenue from the streaming service release, however, they clearly chose not to, but why? Why would you deliberately want to undercut someone for work that they have done? Lets be honest, the only answer here is that they didn’t do it because they didn’t want to, they didn’t expect to be hit with a lawsuit because well, they’re Disney, they believe that they can do what they like and see no comeback from it, because “Everyone loves Disney” right? No star wants to anger the likes of Disney due to the impact that it could have on their career.
Disney have a notorious reputation for under paying actors, so surely it’s absolutely about time someone stood up to them? Regardless of a pandemic, a contract is a contract, Scarlett Johannson should be being paid what was agreed upon, Disney shouldn’t be using the pandemic as an excuse to under pay someone, to withhold money from someone to make up for having to tighten their belts. Marvel movies are known to gross billions of dollars at the box office, I doubt that if it had been given a solely theatrical release that Black Widow would have been any different to the rest.
All in all, I think it’s time for Disney to stop hiding behind a global pandemic, admit that they made a mistake and pay Scarlett Johannson what she’s owed because I’ll be honest, this whole issue just leaves a bad taste in everyones mouth when it comes to Disney now.
All hail Queen ScarJo for teaching us not to settle for any less than we deserve and standing up for herself where many others wouldn’t!
Let me know what you think about the whole ScarJo v Disney situation in the comments below!
As always thank you for reading & until next time!