Scarlett Johansson is one of the biggest superstars in the world. She's earned top billings for years. In fact, she was the highest-paid female lead in the world for two years in a row in 2018 and 2019.
This was a fact that Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of Creative Arts Agency, made very clear. The company, which represents the Black Widow star, was not afraid to point out Johansson's success when responding to Disney's accusations following Johansson's earlier lawsuit against the House of Mouse.
Johansson is not backing down from Disney
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, Lourd claims that the international mass media and entertainment company has "shamelessly and falsely accused Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic". He adds how Scarlett has played a part in nine MCU movies. This has helped Disney earn and its shareholders billions of dollars in revenue.
“They have shamelessly and falsely accused Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an attempt to make her appear to be someone they and I know she isn’t,” Bryan Lourd said about Disney's response to Johansson's suit https://t.co/KO0PRHDZaR pic.twitter.com/toPrrR1MCY
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 30, 2021
Lourd also claims that Disney's inclusion of Johansson's salary in its earlier press statement was an attempt to use her "success as an artist and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of."
Finally, Lourd added that Johansson's lawsuit resulted from "Disney's decision to knowingly violate Scarlett's contract." He explained that Disney's choice to simultaneously stream Black Widow and other movies on Disney+ has forced "artistic and financial partners out of their new equation." He then refers to Disney's attack on Johansson's character as something "beneath the many that many of us in the creative community have worked with successfully for decades."
Lourd's reply is just the latest piece of news in an issue that has piqued the interest of the entire world over the past few days. The whole thing came to light following the successful premiere of Black Widow. The MCU film was supposed to be Johansson's swan song from the MCU as she reprises her role as the titular heroine for one last time.
The film, which was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was a pandemic box office success. However, the film was also released simultaneously on Disney+, Disney's newest streaming platform. This led to a huge dropoff in Black Widow's performance at the box office on its second weekend. The National Association of Theatre Owners and IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond shared the same sentiment.
Both attributed the MCU film's poor performance in subsequent showings to piracy and Disney's decision to release Black Widow on Disney+ Premiere Access on the same day that the film premiered in theaters.
Because of this, Johansson's lawsuit alleges that Disney breached the MCU star's contract. The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The original agreement reportedly guaranteed Johansson that Black Widow would have an exclusive theatrical release. Furthermore, it states that Johansson would receive compensation based on how well the film performed at the box office.
On the other hand, Disney's response argues that the lawsuit is essentially frivolous. The company claims that Johansson received additional compensation for Black Widow's Disney+ release.
Yet, despite Disney's claims, reports prove otherwise. Recent estimates show that Johansson's potential loss resulting from Black Widow's dual release is somewhere upwards of $50 million.