Scarlett Johansson Recalls Being “Sad and Disappointed” in Disney’s Response to Her Lawsuit

Scarlett Johansson recalled the "surreal moment" Disney responded to her 2021 lawsuit against the corporation over an alleged breach of contract involving her compensation in Black Widow.

By Angie Orellana Hernandez May 10, 2023 2:49 AMTags
Watch: Scarlett Johansson Reflects on Disney Lawsuit

Scarlett Johansson is reflecting on her legal battle with the Walt Disney Company.

More than two years ago, the actress sued the corporation over an alleged breach of contract involving her compensation in the superhero hit, Black Widow. At the time, Disney responded to the lawsuit by calling it "sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Now, in an interview with Variety, Johansson said she was "sad and disappointed" over how the company reacted.

"But mostly sad," she noted in an article published May 9. "It was such a surreal moment because we were all isolated and just sort of emerging a little bit."

In her July 2021 lawsuit, Johansson argued that she did not receive proper compensation for her Marvel movie, Black Widow, due to Disney releasing the film in theaters and as a premier purchase on Disney+, even though her contract stated it would have an exclusive theatrical release. Afterward, Disney said in a statement it had "fully complied with Ms. Johansson's contract," adding the hybrid release allowed Johansson to earn "additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date."

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Johansson and Disney settled the dispute in September 2021, though details about their agreement are not known.

Looking back, Johansson said the lawsuit made a "bigger impact" than she initially imagined. "I couldn't even walk through a restaurant without somebody saying, ‘Good for you. Stand up for yourself,'" the 39-year-old recalled. "I got support from strangers that have no skin in the game at all."

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Another silver lining she found during that period? "I was also really heavily pregnant, too, which in a weird way was amazing timing," said Johansson, who is mom to son Cosmo, now 20 months, with husband Colin Jost and daughter Rose, 8, with ex Romain Dauriac. "Suddenly, your entire attention is drawn to this miracle of life."

She added, "So, I had the most wonderful distraction in the world and soon after had a beautiful baby."

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