Early Thursday morning it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson had filed a lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company for alleged breach of contract regarding the release of Black Widow.
While the suit seemed to come from left field, and fans wondered how the company would respond, Disney has already released a statement on the matter.
The statement comes courtesy of New York Times reporter Brook Barnes who posted a snapshot of it to Twitter shortly after it was sent to her.
It reads: “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. 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.”
Seemingly blaming the pandemic for its need to release Black Widow on Disney+, the company calls Johansson’s suit a “callous disregard” for pandemic’s ongoing effects. However, the fact that Disney chose to release its films theatrically despite an ongoing health crisis might also be perceived as a “callous disregard” for its fans depending on how you view the situation.
Johansson has yet to respond to this statement.
In the meantime, Borys Kit from The Hollywood Reporter has already predicted that this will be a case that everyone in Hollywood watches, and rightfully so because the outcome could set a new precedent for all streaming platforms, the content they create, and the contracts its talent sign.
We will continue to monitor this story as details emerge.