Disney has become top dog in the content creation game.
Their influence has forced its employees to toe the company line.
But one Hollywood actress blindsided Disney with a jaw-dropping lawsuit.
Nobody messes with Disney.
The company promptly fired co-star of The Mandalorian Gina Carano after she dared to espouse conservative beliefs online.
A public relations professional in Hollywood said many actors are pretending to be “woke” on social media to please the puppet masters at Disney.
But actress Scarlett Johansson is throwing caution to the wind and going after Disney.
Johansson, who played Black Widow in several Marvel films, is suing the corporation after it released her starring vehicle Black Widow in theaters the same day that it dropped on Disney’s streaming service Disney+.
“In the lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, attorneys for Johansson said Marvel promised the star that Black Widow would receive a ‘theatrical release’…The agreement allegedly provided for Black Widow to open exclusively in cinemas for a period roughly between 90 and 120 days, which was the traditional ‘theatrical window’ before the coronavirus pandemic upended the industry. “
Star actors often get a cut of the box office gross as part of their compensation.
With Disney making the gambit to release Black Window on Disney+ simultaneously, the company took a piece of her compensation.
It’s understandable why she would be upset.
“Johansson claimed Marvel ignored her attempts to negotiate after the studio announced it would debut Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ at the same time. Her complaint specifically cited Disney chairman Bob Iger and CEO Bob Chapek, claiming both men received stock compensation tied directly to the performance of the Disney+ streaming service.”
The conflict of interest from the Disney executives is obvious; Iger—who briefly had presidential aspirations— and Chapek wanted as many eyes watching on Disney+ as possible in order to boost their own profits.
Before the Wuhan virus, it was unprecedented for gigantic studio films on the level of Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow to be released on streaming services the same day as theaters.
Warner Bros. announced that its entire 2021 slate of films would come out on HBO Max the same day as the theatrical release.
Directors and actors for the studio were livid; Christopher Nolan chided Warner Bros. and said it went from the best studio to a second-rate streaming service.
Johansson’s lawsuit could serve as a stalking horse for such new ground.
Whatever happens with her suit, agents will ensure that their actor and director clients will have clear language in their contracts moving forward in order to tackle the issue.
Johansson is done with Marvel as the studio moves into phase four, so it’s easier for her to pull the trigger now.
Nevertheless, it can’t be easy potentially getting on the bad side of a corporation as large and powerful as Disney.
Her lawsuit certainly has the attention of many interested parties.