Scarlett Johansson says that Disney’s opening statement, during her lawsuit over the release of Black Widow, was misogynistic. Lawyers for Disney called her lawsuit “gamesmanship,” and tried to continue the arbitration outside of the public eye.

“After initially responding to this litigation with a misogynistic attack against Scarlett Johansson, Disney is now, predictably, trying to hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration,” the actor’s lawyer, John Berlinski, said, Saturday.

“Why is Disney so afraid of litigating this case in public?,” he added.

Scarlett Johansson, Disney
Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Berlinski also explained that the company intentionally tanked their theatrical opportunities in order to focus on Disney+ subscriptions, affecting Johansson, whose payment varied based on the film’s success at the box office.

“Because it knows that Marvel’s promises to give Black Widow a typical theatrical release ‘like its other films’ had everything to do with guaranteeing that Disney wouldn’t cannibalize box office receipts in order to boost Disney+ subscriptions,” the lawyer continued.

Johansson has claimed that she was promised “a release that is exclusive to movie theatres,” while Disney claims her lawsuit shows “callous disregard” for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite saying her payment was heavily tied to box office sales, Disney says Johansson was paid $20 million upfront to star in the film.


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