The Black Widow is a character of Marvel comics and has been played by several actresses. One of the most famous was actress Scarlett Johansson, who portrayed the character in six films. However, her portrayal of Natasha Romanoff has come under fire recently because of statements made by Disney CEO Bob Iger that he believes the character is not “a good role model for young girls”.
Black Widow is a Marvel comic book character that has been around for decades. She has been the subject of many different incarnations over the years, but her latest incarnation was not one she expected. When Disney decided to make their own Black Widow movie, they made it without consulting with Marvel Studios or Natasha Romanoff herself.
Scarlett Johansson’s representatives claim the Marvel actress was “shocked” by Disney’s reaction to her streaming lawsuit over Black Widow’s day-and-date release, which her agent blasted as a “direct assault on her character.” Johansson filed a lawsuit on Thursday, alleging breach of contract for the studio’s failure to deliver on the “promise” of an exclusive theatrical release and potential performance compensation by making the Marvel Studios film available to stream on Disney+ on the same day it was released in theaters. The “sad and disturbing” petition was immediately retaliated against, with Disney accusing the Black Widow actress and producer of “callous disdain for the terrible and protracted worldwide consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic,” which the corporation claims was the cause for the film’s hybrid distribution.
TheWrap said that Johansson’s team was “struck by the tone” of Disney’s reaction to the case, which the studio claimed had “no merit whatsoever.”
“The case is particularly sad and disturbing in its callous disdain for the terrible and long-lasting worldwide consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic,” a Disney spokesman said on Thursday. The studio “completely complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract,” according to the statement, which also states that “the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has substantially improved her potential to earn further pay on top of the $20 million she has earned to far.”
In his own statement, Johansson’s agency and CAA co-chairman Bryan Lourd slammed Disney for “shamelessly and unjustly accus[ing] Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the worldwide COVID epidemic, in an effort to make her seem to be someone they and I know she isn’t.”
“The firm mentioned her income in their press release in an effort to weaponize her success as an artist and entrepreneur, as if it were something she should be embarrassed of,” Lourd said in a statement.
Lourd continued: “They’ve purposefully shifted income and earnings to the Disney+ side of the business, taking creative and financial partners out of the equation… Disney’s blatant assault on her persona, as well as everything else they suggested, is unworthy of a business with whom many of us in the creative community have successfully collaborated for decades.”
Kevin Feige, President and Producer of Marvel Studios, is said to be “mad and humiliated” by Disney’s response to the case.
According to Matthew Belloni, a former Hollywood Reporter editor, “Feige “lobbied Disney against the Black Widow day-and-date arrangement, preferring the big screen exclusivity and not wanting to disturb his talent.” Then, when the sh-t hit the fan, the movie tanked, and Johansson’s team threatened legal action, he demanded that Disney make amends.”
Johansson has already said that she did not plan to reprise her role as Natasha Romanoff in any future Marvel Studios films or series following Black Widow when she filed her complaint in July. After Natasha’s death in Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow served as a send-off for the character played by Scarlett Johansson, who first appeared in 2010’s Iron Man 2 before returning in numerous Captain America and Avengers films.