Disney isn’t backing down in its battle against Scarlett Johansson. Shots have been fired from both sides, starting with Johansson, who filed suit against the House of Mouse citing breach of contract for releasing Black Widow on the streamer while it was still in theaters, and imperiling her box office cut.

Disney responded, calling her lawsuit “callous” and revealing her high level of compensation ($20 million), implying she was being greedy. Several organizations, including Time’s Up, denounced Disney’s “gendered” attack on Johansson. Now, Disney lawyer Daniel Petrocelli tells Variety that her demands are out of bounds.

“It is obvious that this is a highly orchestrated PR campaign to achieve an outcome that is not obtainable in the lawsuit,” Petrocelli said. “No amount of public pressure can change or obscure the explicit contractual commitments. The written contract is clear as a bell.”

The contract calls for Black Widow to be released on a minimum of 1,500 screens in the U.S.; it is currently released on 9,000 in the U.S. But Johansson argues that the problem was the dual release in theaters and online.

“It is obvious that this is a highly orchestrated PR campaign to achieve an outcome that is not obtainable in the lawsuit,” Petrocelli said. “No amount of public pressure can change or obscure the explicit contractual commitments. The written contract is clear as a bell.”

SAG-AFTRA

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is taking sides, issuing a scathing rebuke against Disney.

“Disney should be ashamed of themselves for resorting to tired tactics of gender-shaming and bullying,” the leader of the performers’ union said in a statement released on Friday. “Actors must be compensated for their work according to their contracts. Scarlett Johansson is shining a white-hot spotlight on the improper shifts in compensation that companies are attempting to slip by talent as distribution models change.”

She added, “Nobody in any field of work should fall victim to surprise reductions in expected compensation. It is unreasonable and unjust. Disney and other content companies are doing very well and can certainly live up to their obligations to compensate the performers whose art and artistry are responsible for the corporation’s profits.”



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