The movie star filed suit in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 29, claiming she has been cheated out of a $50 million (£36 million) payday by Disney chiefs' decision to release the film simultaneously in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming platform earlier this month (July 2021).
The actress' lawyer, John Berlinski, wrote, "It's no secret that Disney is releasing films like 'Black Widow' directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company's stock price - and that it's hiding behind COVID-19 as a pretext to do so. But ignoring the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films in furtherance of this short-sighted strategy violates their rights and we look forward to proving as much in court."
Officials at The Walt Disney Co. have been quick to respond, claiming Scarlett's suit showed a "callous disregard" to the problems film studios faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Disney spokesperson says, "There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson's contract and furthermore, the release of 'Black Widow' on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 million she has received to date."