According to Disney’s lawyers, both parties “agreed that all claims ‘arising out of, in connection with, or relating to’ Scarlett Johansson’s acting services for Black Widow would be submitted to confidential, binding arbitration in New York.”
In response to Disney’s move, Johansson’s lawyer released a statement on Saturday.
“After initially responding to this litigation with a misogynistic attack against Scarlett Johansson, Disney is now, predictably, trying to hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration,” her lawyer John Berlinski told Deadline.
He continued, “Why is Disney so afraid of litigating this case in public? Because it knows that Marvel’s promises to give Black Widow a typical theatrical release ‘like its other films’ had everything to do with guaranteeing that Disney wouldn’t cannibalize box office receipts in order to boost Disney+ subscriptions. Yet that is exactly what happened – and we look forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence that proves it.”
Disney’s motion arrives nearly a month after Johansson filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court in July alleging that her contract was breached when Marvel’s parent company released the film on the Disney+ platform alongside its theatrical run.
According to Johansson, an agreement with Marvel Entertainment included the guarantee of a theater-only release. Furthermore, the suit states, Johansson’s salary was based “in large part” on how well the film—which also stars Florence Pugh and David Harbour—did at the traditional box office.
“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” the suit reads.