Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit: Disney’s Response Is a ‘Gendered Character Attack,’ Says Time’s Up, Women in Film, Reframe

Scarlett Johansson
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, file

Women in Film, Los Angeles, ReFrame and Time’s Up have issued a joint statement calling Disney’s characterization of Scarlett Johansson a “gendered character attack.”

The statement from the advocacy organizations reads, “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. 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.

Black Widow” star Johansson filed a lawsuit Thursday against Marvel owner Disney, claiming that putting the film on Disney Plus caused her to lose out on considerable bonuses. Disney struck back, saying the lawsuit showed “callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Disney’s statement said that the star has already been paid $20 million for her work on the film,

“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” Disney said. The company also claimed that the “Black Widow” release on Disney Plus with Premier Access “significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation.”

The suit could have widespread repercussions for the way talent in Hollywood is compensated as release windows are breaking, streaming services are proliferating and the pandemic continues to affect the global theater business.

Founded by the Sundance Institute and Women in Film, ReFrame is a gender equality initiative.