2 Aug – Scarlett Johansson's camp has recently blasted the Walt Disney Studio following the latter's statement against the actress for her decision to file a lawsuit against them.
Johansson filed a lawsuit against the studio last week; claiming that the studio had breached her contract by its simultaneous release of "Black Widow" in theatres and Disney+ as her salary is said to be largely based on box office receipts.
Johansson's agent and CAA co-chairman Bryan Lourd released a statement on 30 July in response to Disney's claim that the actress showed "callous disregard for the pandemic" and indirectly calling her "greedy" for wanting more after being paid a hefty USD 20 million for her "Black Widow" role - in response to being sued for their decision to release the said Marvel movie in theatres and Disney+ Premier Access simultaneously.
"Scarlett has been Disney's partner on nine movies, which have earned Disney and its shareholders billions. The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponise her success as an artiste and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of," wrote Lourd, who is also the father of actress Billie Lourd and ex-husband of late actress Carrie Fisher. "Scarlett is extremely proud of the work that she, and all of the actors, writers, directors, producers, and the Marvel creative team have been a part of for well over a decade."
"This suit was filed as a result of Disney's decision to knowingly violate Scarlett's contract. They have very deliberately moved the revenue stream and profits to the Disney+ side of the company leaving artistic and financial partners out of their new equation. That's it, pure and simple. Disney's direct attack on her character and all else they implied is beneath the company that many of us in the creative community have worked with successfully for decades," he added.
Disney has been enjoying an increase in subscribers and subsequently its stock price since the emergence of its streaming service, while at the same time actors like Johansson did not share similar benefit from their work with the studio due to the new hybrid model of releasing their movies in cinemas and Disney+ Premier Access at the same time.
It is noted that "Black Widow" brought in USD 80 million in its North America opening in theatres and USD 60 million globally on Disney+ when it was first simultaneously released, and made roughly USD 318 million worldwide, to date.