Scarlett Johansson & Disney settled her breach of contract lawsuit

scarjo black widow3

Shortly after Black Widow was released in theaters and on Disney-Plus Premier Access concurrently, Scarlett Johansson sued Disney for breach of contract. Basically, she sued Disney because they screwed up the release of BW and that screw up affected Scarlett’s backend bonuses. Considering BW was her final film as the character and the end of a fruitful years-long contract with Marvel, it was especially gross to hear Disney’s lawyers basically money-shame her and accuse her of not caring about the pandemic. Disney’s reaction to ScarJo’s lawsuit did not help their corporate cause whatsoever, and SAG-AFTRA, various women’s groups and Scarlett’s agency CAA all got involved and slapped back at Disney. Disney released that they probably weren’t going to win in the court of public opinion, so they moved Scarlett’s lawsuit into binding arbitration in August. Meaning, we haven’t heard anything for about five weeks while they worked things out. And here we go:

Scarlett Johansson and Disney have settled a breach of contract lawsuit over the star’s Black Widow payday, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney,” stated Johansson. “I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in years to come.”

Disney Studios chairman Alan Bergman added: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow. We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”

[From THR]

Sincerely, I hope Scarlett got paid. I hope that binding arbitration worked in her favor, and that Disney understood that she had a good case. THR had more background on why Scarlett filed, and what the legal issues were behind-the-scenes. Scarlett made a good faith effort for months to work out something with Disney behind-the-scenes but they kept stringing her along and shrugging off her concerns. She really had no choice but to stand up for herself.

Scarlett Johansson attends the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing...

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Marvel.

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19 Responses to “Scarlett Johansson & Disney settled her breach of contract lawsuit”

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  1. Noki says:

    Hope she made Bank! Also i am shocked they said they will still work with her,these Hollywood giants never think twice about blackballing and making an example of entertainers.

    • Jessie Quinton says:

      Disney were being dragged left, right and center in the media so it looks like they took that to heart.

    • Mia4s says:

      “ Also i am shocked they said they will still work with her”

      Meh. They threw some cash at her and she’s now back towing the company line (see her statement). There will be non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements galore and she will be “so, so happy to be working with my partners at Disney!”. This ended up a nothing-burger.

      • North of Boston says:

        Not a nothing burger – Disney’s on notice that creatives WILL clap back at them when they pull this ish, more people will lock these aspects of their contracts down to eliminate and squirrelly room Disney tried to use here, and then next similar suit will have more visibility and credibility than it would otherwise.

      • Mia4s says:

        Agree to disagree. Scarlett basically got the same deal as Emma Stone, and Emma didn’t have to file a lawsuit. The “streaming in contracts” was definitely going to be an issue after the whole WB madness, and that predated this lawsuit. And since it’s a settlement it sets no legal precedent. I just find it all a bit anti-climactic, but then I always knew it would be. I mean the best we can say is the world is once again safe for white female multimillionaires! 😂

        It’s nice to see mega-corporation Disney not get away with something. But given that after their super-questionable public comments about her, she immediately hops back into business with them? Eh. The impact here will be negligible. (But to be clear, I get it. She’s a business woman and Disney=money. That’s why they call it show business).

    • Royalle says:

      They said it to look good. They will in truth likely never employ her again. It’s pr bullshit.
      I hope she got paid

      • Steph says:

        I still think that the fact she was paid even MORE money, rather than fight a livable wage for the crew is what makes this whole situation tone deaf.

        The actors are no better than the crew. Why should the crew work so hard for nothing and a millionaire walk away with more millions. I’d have had more respect if she had been vocalizing the needs of profit sharing for more than just herself.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I’m sure she got some money but still probably not what she would have gotten with a full theatrical release, but both sides probably realized that arguing over millions during a pandemic is not a good look. So Disney probably did send some money her way and I also think that part of the settlement was that they both release positive statements to the press about this.

    but I just want to clarify this point –

    “Disney released that they probably weren’t going to win in the court of public opinion, so they moved Scarlett’s lawsuit into binding arbitration in August. ”

    There was most likely a binding arbitration clause in the contract and Disney likely moves most things to arbitration. It doesn’t mean they knew they weren’t going to win in the court of public opinion. A high profile lawsuit from someone like ScarJo was most likely ALWAYS going to go to arbitration. It’s very standard at this point.

  3. JayBlue says:

    I don’t care much for scarlet, but I’m glad she got the win over Disney. Streaming is the future, and a lot of lesser stars could easily get screwed over without the clout to fight the mouse machine. She’s made a dent in their armour, and gives me hope that Disney will be less brazen about this sort of nonsense.

  4. Erin says:

    I hope they paid out the nose to her. It could not have been easy to take a public stand against the mouse, and I have a ton of respect for Scarlett for going and getting what she was owed. And obviously I hope she’s done making comic book movies, because she shines in smaller fare like Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story.

  5. ThatsNotOkay says:

    The only good thing I can say about ScarJo is that she purportedly walked out on her date with Tom Cruise when he tried to introduce her to Scientology. Other than that, she seems terrible. Though she was right on this issue.

  6. Liz says:

    Disney backed up a truck to her house and unloaded cash into her swimming pool. The last thing they (or any other movie studio) wants is for there to be a public accounting of how they run their businesses and how movie revenue is calculated.

  7. Mia4s says:

    Disney wanted the arbitration, I don’t really think that helped/harmed her.

    If you read between the lines; she got paid, likely less that she would have gotten with a theatrical release, maybe a bit more than with an arbitration. However, reading about creative accounting my assumption is a good chunk of the pay out with be tied to that Tower of Terror project and let them pull from that budget since Black Widow ultimately won’t return a large profit (Pandemic, it is what it is).

    So anti-climactic as hell. Disney gets to lay low and ultimately Scarlett very much wants to stay in business with them. *shrug*

    • Becks1 says:

      I wonder if they just bumped up her ToT paycheck and that’s the “settlement.”

      • Dutch says:

        Deadline is reporting the settlement, once all is said and done, is going to be worth north of $40 million, which I’m sure also involved a restructuring of her ToT deal. Seeing as how she sued for $50 mil, I’d say Scarlett got most everything she was looking for.

  8. Songs (Or it didnt happen) says:

    Maybe someday they will make a movie about Scarlett’s fair pay crusade and a lovely Japanese actress will have the opportunity to play her.

  9. Barbie1 says:

    I wanted her to win in a court of law, not settle. It would have been fun to see them taken down. Oh well.

  10. Margo says:

    Oh, I bet her payday was S W E E T! And well deserved because the streaming decision by Disney took millions of dollars off the table for ScarJo. I’ll bet they worked out something that gives her a piece of the streaming and it’s probably more than Disney would have paid if they had negotiated in good faith upfront. Well done, ScarJo (and congrats on the new baby!)