On the 29th of June, actress Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney, on the grounds of the company breaching her contract by releasing the movie Black Widow on Disney+.
On Thursday, Johansson filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the mass media giant. The reason is that the company released superhero movie Black Widow in cinemas and on its streaming platfrom simultaneously, and allegedly breached her contract.
“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” the suit states.
This is hurting the actress’ financial interests, as the agreement was that her salary would be mostly based on the movie’s box office haul.
“It’s no secret that Disney is releasing films like Black Widow directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company’s stock price—and that it’s hiding behind COVID-19 as a pretext to do so,” John Berlinski, the actress’ attorney, claims.
Disney, however, disagrees with the allegations.
A spokesman 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 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.”
According to TorrentFreak’s pirating statistics, Back Widow tops the chart as the most torrented title. Because of this and its availability on Disney+, the movie saw a serious drop during its second week in the cinemas.