- Disney has made public how much Johansson earned on “Black Widow.”
- Her agent calls the move “an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman.”
- Johansson is suing Disney saying the movie’s release on Disney+ violated her contract.
Scarlett Johansson’s agent blasted the Walt Disney Company on Friday, accusing Disney of revealing the actress’ salary in “an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman.”
Johansson sued Disney on Thursday, claiming the release of Marvel’s “Black Widow” on Disney’s streaming service at the same time it was in theaters violated her contract.
Hours later, Disney fired back with its own statement on the matter, and included that the actress earned $20 million on the movie.
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” a Disney spokesperson said. “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 $20 million she has received to date.”
This led to Friday’s statement by Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of the Creative Artists Agency, which represents Johansson.
“The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of,” Lourd said, according to Variety.
“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,” Lourd continued.
Lourd also slammed Disney for “shamelessly and falsely” accusing Johansson of “being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic” in their response to her lawsuit.
Johansson argues that Disney violated her contract, potentially bilking her out of significant income, because her salary was largely based on box-office performance. According to
The Wall Street Journal, actor could be missing out on $50 million in added income from bonuses due to movie’s box office performance.
According to the Journal, Johansson was concerned about the movie being released in part on Disney+. Her representatives contacted Marvel to ensure that the movie would solely be released in theaters. The story also said Marvel’s chief counsel said they would speak with her if those plans changed.
“Black Widow” earned $158 million in its global box-office opening, while Disney saw $60 million in sales from at-home viewing purchases.
“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 Berlinksi, Johansson’s attorney, told Insider in an email on Thursday. “But ignoring the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films in furtherance of this short-sighted strategy violates their rights and we look forward to proving as much in court.”