Disney Accused Of ‘Gendered Attack’ On Scarlett Johansson

by : Emily Brown on : 31 Jul 2021 10:34
Disney Accused Of 'Gendered Attack' On Scarlett JohanssonPA/Disney

Disney has been accused of making a ‘gendered attack’ against Scarlett Johansson after the actor sued the company over the release of Black Widow

Johansson filed a lawsuit earlier this week that claimed Disney breached her contract by releasing her long-awaited Marvel film on its streaming service, Disney+, at the same time it was released in theatres.


The lawsuit claimed the actor’s salary for the film would largely be based on its earnings in the box office, and as such Johansson ‘extracted a promise from Marvel that the release of the picture would be a ‘theatrical release’,’ aka, one exclusive to movie theatres.

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow (Disney)Disney

Disney has denied any wrongdoing and argued that releasing Black Widow on Disney+ actually ‘significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 million she has received to date’, while also calling the lawsuit ‘sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic’.

In the wake of Disney’s response, a number of women’s groups accused Disney of attempting to brand Johansson of being ‘insensitive’.


In a joint statement, Women In Film, ReFrame and Time’s Up wrote:

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 characterise Johansson as insensitive or selfish for defending her contractual business rights.

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.

Similar criticism was shared by Johansson’s agent and CAA co-chairman Bryan Lourd, who accused Disney of ‘shamelessly and falsely’ suggesting the actor was ‘insensitive’ to the coronavirus pandemic.


He commented, ‘Scarlett has been Disney’s partner on nine movies, which have earned Disney and its shareholders billions. The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponise her success as an artist and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of.’

Lourd went on to argue that the suit was filed as a ‘result of Disney’s decision to knowingly violate Scarlett’s contract’, ‘pure and simple’.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Black Widow, Disney, Disney+, Lawsuit, Marvel, Now, Scarlett Johansson


Time's Up/Twitter
  1. Time's Up/Twitter