Hollywood heavyweights are putting Disney on blast for their response to Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” lawsuit.
On Friday, advocacy organizations Time’s Up, Women In Film, and ReFrame issued a joint statement calling out Disney for going out of its way to make a “gendered character attack” on the actress.
“While we take no position on the business issues in the litigation between Scarlett Johansson and the Walt Disney Company, we stand firmly against Disney’s recent statement which attempts to characterize Johansson as insensitive or selfish for defending her contractual business rights,” the statement read.
“This gendered character attack has no place in a business dispute and contributes to an environment in which women and girls are perceived as less able than men to protect their own interests without facing ad hominem criticism.”
All three organizations are major power players in advocating for women in Hollywood.
— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) July 30, 2021
Johansson’s lawsuit alleges that Disney broke their contract with the star when they decided to release “Black Widow” on Disney+ Premium Access, thus reducing the amount of money Johansson could earn as her contract guaranteed her a percentage of the box office sales.
Disney went for the jugular in their comments on the lawsuit, saying Johansson’s filing was “sad and distressing” and showed a “callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Disney released “Black Widow” on streaming largely because of the pandemic.
The company also outed her base salary — $20 million — in an apparent attempt to make her look greedy for filing the lawsuit.
Johansson’s agent, CAA bigwig Bryan Lourd (father to Billie Lourd and ex-husband of the late Carrie Fisher), slammed the company, saying the House of Mouse “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.”
He added, “The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of.”
Meanwhile, Emma Stone is reportedly weighing taking similar action against Disney related to the company’s streaming release of her movie, “Cruella.”