‘Black Widow’ row: Women's groups call out Disney's attack on Scarlett Johansson
- An advocacy groups have condemned Disney's response to Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit
- Groups like Women In Film, and ReFrame signed a statement calling the response a "gendered attack”
- Johansson is suing Disney over releasing her film "Black Widow" on Disney+ while it's in theaters
Three of Hollywood's most prominent women's advocacy groups condemned Disney's response to Scarlett Johansson's "Black Widow" lawsuit in a joint statement published over the weekend.
Time's Up, Women In Film, and ReFrame all signed the statement, which described Disney's response to Johansson's lawsuit as a "gendered character attack”, reports BusinessInsider.
"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,” reads the statement.
The statement continued: "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."
Since Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney for allegedly violating an agreement to exclusively release "Black Widow" in theaters, a vicious legal feud has erupted between the actor and the Marvel Studios' parent company.
The actress claims that the simultaneous release of the film on the Disney+ streaming service – an unforeseen decision made to allow viewers to watch safely at home during the pandemic – was not part of the original negotiations and therefore allowed the studio to cut her out of her fair share.
Disney responded last week by releasing a statement that called Johansson's complaint "sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."
The statement also made public that Johansson received $20 million for her work on the movie, and claimed to have fully complied with its contracts and agreements with Johansson.
The statement of the group also highlights a long history of women in the entertainment industry being painted as difficult or not "team players" for making basic demands, or for simply asking to be paid.
According to Salon.com, since Johansson took legal action against Disney last week, Emma Stone, star of the recent Disney film "Cruella," is also reportedly "weighing her options," as her movie also released on the corporation's streaming service alongside theatrical release.
"Black Widow" that was released recently ranks among one of the lowest grossing Marvel films of all time, and theater owners have blamed the movie's streaming on Disney+ for this outcome.