‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit: Time’s Up calls Disney’s response a ‘gendered character attack’
Disney's response to Scarlett Johansson's "Black Widow" lawsuit is being branded by Time's Up, Women in Film Los Angeles, and ReFrame as a "gendered character attack."
In a joint statement, the advocacy groups wrote:
"While we take no position on the business issues in the litigation between Scarlett Johansson and The Walt Disney Company, we stand firmly against Disney's recent statement which attempts to characterize Johansson as insensitive or selfish for defending her contractual business rights. This gendered character attack has no place in a business dispute and contributes to an environment in which women and girls are perceived as less able than men to protect their own interests without facing ad hominem criticism."
In its response to Johansson's lawsuit, Disney revealed the star's "Black Widow" salary, and called the complaint especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johansson claimed that the simultaneous release of "Black Widow" on streaming service Disney+ as well as in cinemas is violating her contract. Marvel, which is owned by Disney, and the actor had reportedly agreed that her compensation for the film would be based largely on box office earnings, and so to maximise those receipts, and thereby protect her financial interests, the actor made the studio promise the movie would be exclusively released in theatres.
Her lawyers stated that Disney was well aware of this promise when they made the decision to release the film on Disney+, and claimed the company's motive was to devalue Johansson's agreement.