Scarlett Johansson gave in to Disney’s power in her lawsuit against the media giant

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When Scarlett Johansson sued Disney in July 2021, it was expected that the trial would change the way studios and stars approach contracts in the post-Covid world. Johansson’s determination seemed so strong that the trial was expected to turn into a full-scale courtroom drama.


  • Scarlett Johansson goes after Disney
  • Scarlett Johansson bites in the dust

Though, Disney, with all his might, knew better and, together with Scarlett Johansson, decided to take the easy way out. In the end, this little skirmish between the actress and the media giant has created a precedent for how stars are paid. From now on, studios will think twice about sharpening corners when it comes to paying their artists.


The pandemic made studios prioritize streaming to reduce losses. But this fueled the already putty resentment among many artists that their work did not find a proper release on the big screen. In a way, it had always been inevitable that a big star like Johansson, given the circumstances, would go after Disney for his payday.

Maybe filming Christopher Nolanthe decision to end its partnership with Warner Bros. after decades of partnership, they foreshadowed the passionate emotions that drove them Johansson to sue Disney. While Chris Nolan was appalled by it Warner Bros.. had moved all her films to streaming without prior conversation with filmmakers, Scarlett Johansson went after Disney because they did not follow her contract, despite constant reminders.

Scarlett Johansson goes after Disney
Scarlett Johansson goes after Disney

While Johansson’s complaint was about a legal breach of her contract with Disney, in both cases the artists felt disrespected by the studios. After all, in her lawsuit,Black widowThe actress had stated that she gave Disney and Marvel “every opportunity to correct their mistakes” before submitting the lawsuit.

However, they did not manage to live up to their promise, which was an exclusive cinema premiere of ‘Black Widow’ to which Johansson’s merit is attached. Instead, Disney introduced a hybrid version by simultaneously releasing the film in theaters and for streaming. The actress claimed that this decision was a “deliberately induced breach of contract” that she had with Marvel and prevented her “from realizing the full benefit of her findings”.


The way Disney responded to Johansson’s lawsuit was nothing more than an ex’s attempt to disprove the allegations of assault against them by discrediting the person who made them. Disney responded by saying that the lawsuit was divested from all “merits” and blamed the actress for her “harsh ignorance” of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The statement made it clear that the media giant was more focused on Scarlett Johansson not agreeing to their self-interest rather than their breach of contract and taking some responsibility for it.

In addition to publicly tarnishing the actress’ name, Disney showed its own “contemptuous disregard” by revealing Johansson’s paycheck for the film. All of this raises the question of whether Disney would have done the same, in terms of their legal and public relations treatment, if another star who Robert Downey jr. or Chris Evans was involved.

Since the answer is a resounding no, it would have been cleansing and groundbreaking to see Scarlett Johansson bring Disney to justice. That she has recently revealed that she felt that her character Black Widow is hypersexualized in Marvel Cinematic Universe was also an indication of the systemic sexism that existed within Marvel that allowed her to be treated in this way.

Video credits: The Take

But in the end, the actress must make an effort to advance her career instead of draining her resources on a trial. Scarlett Johansson eventually took the easy way and gave in to Disney’s power by settling for an undiscovered amount. Although we do not know how much Disney needed to empty its pockets to make the mood go away, it is clear that it was an amount large enough to silence the actress’ concerns.

The actress expressed her joy at having “resolved her differences with Disney” and added that she looks forward to continuing her “collaboration” with the media giant. Although this deal came out of the blue, it was not entirely surprising. Disney had no way out of it except to pay Scarlett Johansson for the losses she incurred due to a hybrid release.

In addition, the actress has set a strong example that if a media giant thinks they can get away with self-forgiving behavior, they are wrong. Artists, especially female artists, will be the last to keep quiet. Despite the fact that Scarlett Johansson did not go to court with all the weapons in flames, Scarlett Johansson has authorized all artists in Hollywood to express their complaints bravely and demand to be rewarded according to their value.

What do you think about Scarlett Johansson settling with Disney in the Black Widow release lawsuit? Comment below!


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