Scarlett Johansson has filed a lawsuit against The Walt Disney Co. at a California superior court.
In the lawsuit, Johansson has asserted that Disney has committed a wrongdoing by adding Black Widow to their streaming platform, Disney+.
Furthermore, she is claiming that Disney breached her contract by releasing Black Widow on Disney+ at the same time that it was released in movie cinemas.
As per Deadline, this lawsuit filed by Johansson is a a part of a larger narrative, in what is being referred to as “studio streaming wars”, where release dates and days between cinemas and online streaming platforms seem to be competing with each other, rather than complementing each other.
The beginning of the lawsuit reads, “As Ms. Johansson, Disney, Marvel, and most everyone else in Hollywood knows, a “theatrical release” is a release that is exclusive to movie theatres. Disney was well aware of this promise, but nonetheless directed Marvel to violate its pledge and instead release the Picture on the Disney+ streaming service the very same day it was released in movie theatres.”
Now, a Disney spokesperson has issued a statement in response to the lawsuit, stating that it is “especially sad and distressing” given the major setbacks creative industries have faced due to the global pandemic.
They said, “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,” they added, “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.”
For more on this topic, follow the Film & TV Observer.