The news has been out for a couple of days, and yet reading it is, somehow, still shocking. Because yes, Scarlett Johansson, one of Marvel’s biggest stars, is indeed suing Disney over their decision to release Black Widow on Disney+ at the same time as the movie made its theatrical debut.
Now, when you put it like that, it sounds bad. Suing Disney because they did the safest thing and released the movie in a way that people could still access it in the middle of a pandemic? What kind of an asshole does that, you might normally ask. And that’s exactly what Disney wants you to ask. But don’t get confused, Scarlett Johansson is not the bad guy in this story.
In fact, she is playing the role of hero to perfection.
Because the main point in her lawsuit isn’t that the movie was released on Disney+, it’s that it was and she didn’t get compensated for it, despite the fact that her contracted salary was tied to box office performance – a box office performance Disney knew would be affected by the simultaneous release.
So, basically, Disney cheated the STAR of the film out of the compensation she was entitled, and basically gambled that she wouldn’t complain.
Then, to add insult to injury, they released a statement trying to make HER look bad for wanting to get paid fairly, and attempting to gaslight people into believing what she wanted was to take advantage of the nice corporation that released the movie on Disney+ out of the goodness of their hearts, and that her entire claim wasn’t based on them changing the rules of the game mid-way, and ignoring every one of her attempts to renegotiate based on the new circumstances.
Not to mention, they’re just hypocrites. Big, fat hypocrites.
Also, yes, sexist.
In the end, whatever you think of Scarlett, the important thing to remember is this:
- She negotiated a contract under a certain set of conditions.
- The studio changed those conditions, without attempting to renegotiate, hoping she’d take the loss, cause she’s a big enough star, and rich enough, that she could.
- It doesn’t matter how rich she is, she deserves to be paid what was agreed upon for her work.
And also, remember this. Because this is super important.
We’d wish Scar Jo good luck, but she doesn’t need luck. She’s right. So we’re just going to hope the precedent this could set ends up benefiting all the smaller names that have been affected by this new business model.
Time to pay up, Disney. It’s not like you don’t have enough of our money that you can’t do it.