Scarlett Johansson Calls Out Disney For ‘Misogynistic Attack’ Over Black Widow Lawsuit

Who is telling the truth?

The legal fight between Scarlett Johansson and Disney over the simultaneous release of Black Widow’s release in theaters and the streamer is nowhere near wrapping up anytime soon. Immediately after Disney pushed Scarlett Johansson to shift the lawsuit behind closed doors, the legal team of the actress retaliated with scathing remarks against the studio, claiming that they are making futile attempts to hide their “misconduct.”

“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,” said John Berlinski, Scarlett Johansson’s main lawyer in her lawsuit against Disney, as reported by Deadline. “Why is Disney so afraid of litigating this case in public?”

“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,” Berlinski added.  “Yet that is exactly what happened – and we look forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence that proves it.”

Recently, in response to Scarlett Johansson airing her financial clash with Disney publicly, the studio filed a motion in the LA Superior Court via Daniel Petrocelli, Leah Godesky, and Tim Heafner of O’Melveny & Myers LLP. In the filing, Disney called out Periwinkle Entertainment, the company via which Scarlett Johansson closed the contract for Black Widow with the studio, and demanded that the lawsuit should be “submitted to confidential, binding arbitration in New York.”

“Periwinkle agreed that all claims ‘arising out of, in connection with, or relating to’ Scarlett Johansson’s acting services for Black Widow would be submitted to confidential, binding arbitration in New York,” reads the motion. “Whether Periwinkle’s claims against Disney fall within the scope of that agreement is not a close call: Periwinkle’s interference and inducement claims are premised on Periwinkle’s allegation that Marvel breached the contract’s requirement that any release of Black Widow include a ‘wide theatrical release’ on ‘no less than 1,500 screens.”

“In a futile effort to evade this unavoidable result (and generate publicity through a public filing), Periwinkle excluded Marvel as a party to this lawsuit––substituting instead its parent company Disney under contract-interference theories,” the motion against Scarlett Johansson and Perwinkle Entertainment by Disney further added. “But longstanding principles do not permit such gamesmanship.”

Scarlett Johansson has claimed that in her contract, Disney had promised that Black Widow would receive an exclusive theatrical release. But then the company went ahead and released the Marvel film on Disney+ and in the theaters on the same day, thus seriously hampering its box-office potential, which in turn cost the Marriage Story star millions of dollars in revenue. But Disney is adamant that the actress is incorrectly interpreting the contract. 

“There is nothing in the Agreement requiring that a ‘wide theatrical release’ also be an ‘exclusive’ theatrical release. The contract does not mandate theatrical distribution––let alone require that any such distribution be exclusive. Moreover, the contract expressly provides that any theatrical-distribution obligations are satisfied by distribution on “no less than 1500 screens.” And even though Black Widow’s release coincided with a global public-health crisis, Marvel made good on its promises,” the motion stated. 

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