Scarlett Johansson has filed a lawsuit against Disney on the grounds of violation of the contract. Her lawsuit on July 29 in the Los Angeles Superior Court mentioned the content was only decided for a theatrical release. In the ongoing scenarios, Disney decided to go for a release on OTT platforms as well. Johansson claimed that Disney intentionally changed these terms for their benefit.
“On information and belief, the decision to do so was made at least in part because Disney saw the 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,” the complaint states.
On July 29, Disney stated that the complaint has no merit: “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.”
“Obviously, this world has been disrupted by COVID and we are all reacting to a very fluid situation,” Chapek was quoted saying on Thursday.
According to Deadline, Bob Chapek have also spoken that the team had dual distribution plans. He said, “We value flexibility in being able to make list minute calls. Certainly, when we planned we didn’t anticipate the resurgence of COVID-19”.
“These films were conceived during a time when … we certainly didn’t know about COVID,” Chapek reportedly was quoted mentioning the Wall Street analysts. “Just like what we’ve done many times before, we’ve found ways to fairly compensate our talent so that, no matter what, everyone feels satisfied.”
“I haven’t really been fully up on it. I’ve only met Scarlett in passing. I think she’s a great person. And I really think she’s, uh, you know, I trust Scarlett,” James Gunn said.