Actress Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney Over ‘Black Widow’ Streaming Release

Actress Scarlett Johansson has sued Disney on July 29 for releasing the “Black Widow” film on its streaming service, Disney+, at the same time it was released in theaters.

In the lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Johansson alleged that Disney breached her contract when it simultaneously released her solo film in theaters and in the streaming service.

According to the lawsuit, Disney’s Marvel Entertainment and Johansson agreed that the film will get an exclusive theatrical release and that her salary would be based, in large part, on the film’s box office performance.

“To maximize these receipts, and thereby protect her financial interests, Ms. Johansson extracted a promise from Marvel that the release of the picture would be a ‘theatrical release’… 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 lawsuit claimed.

“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,” Attorney John Berlinski, who represents Johansson, said in a statement to media outlets.

The lawsuit further claimed that Disney and Marvel did not respond to Johansson when she attempted to negotiate after hearing that the film would be simultaneously released on the streaming service.

Sources familiar with the lawsuit said that the move to simultaneously stream the movie cost Johansson over $50 million, entertainment media website IGN reported.

Disney responded to the lawsuit, claiming that it has “no merit whatsoever.”

“The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Disney said.

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