Disney boss defends studio amid Scarlett Johansson lawsuit

"Ultimately we believe our talent is our most important asset"

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has spoken out in defence of the studio in light of the ongoing lawsuit with Scarlett Johansson.

The Black Widow actor sued Disney over the film’s day-and-date release strategy, claiming it is in breach of her contract.

The Marvel star’s agent claimed that she would have received a greater percentage point of box office takings if the film had been released exclusively in cinemas.

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Chapek was asked about the payment of talent as the distribution models continue to change – including more day-and-date strategies like for Black Widow.

“Disney has had a long history of having very symbiotic and cooperative deals with the talent and we will continue to,” he said without naming names, according to Deadline.

Scarlett Johnasson
Scarlett Johansson in ‘Black Widow’. CREDIT: Alamy

“Certainly the world is changing, and the talent deals going forward will have to reflect the fact that the world is changing,” he went on.

“We’re in a moment of time where films were envisioned under one understanding about what the world would be, because frankly it hadn’t changed much.”

He added: “Right now we have this sort of middle position, where we’re trying to do right by the talent, I think the talent is trying to do right by us, and we’re just figuring out our way to bridge the gap.

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“Ultimately we believe our talent is our most important asset, and we’ll continue to believe that, and as we always have, we’ll compensate them fairly per the terms of the contract that they agreed to us with.”

In a four-star review of Black Widow, NME said: “Johansson’s swansong has cycled through futuristic sci-fi, buddy comedy, escape adventure and teary drama. It’s not beating up Nazis for Beelzebub, granted, but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun.”

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