Scarlet Johansson’s lawyer accuses Disney of “hiding misconduct”

The ongoing legal dispute between the actor and the studio continues

Scarlet Johansson’s lawyer has accused Disney of attempting to “hide its misconduct” in a private arbitration.

Last month it was revealed that Johansson was initiating legal proceedings against Disney. The actor alleged that the simultaneous release of Black Widow on Disney+ as well as in cinemas violated her contract. Her lawsuit claimed that the move heavily impacted ticket sales of the Avengers spin-off.

In response to the lawsuit, Disney issued a statement at the time claiming that “there is no merit whatsoever to this filing” and that they had “fully complied” with her contract.


Over the weekend (August 21) Disney filed a further motion to force Johansson into a private arbitration. Her lawyer, John Berlinski, later issued a response claiming that it was trying to hide its misconduct.

Scarlett Johansson Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson in ‘Black Widow’ CREDIT: Disney / The Hollywood Archive

He said: “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.”

Berlinski had previously claimed that the company was filing for arbitration “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 cannibalise box office receipts in order to boost Disney Plus subscriptions”.

He continued: “That is exactly what happened – and we look forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence that proves it.”


Black Widow is one of the lowest-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films to date with global takings of $319.5million (£229million).

Without a hybrid release, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) said, via Variety, that Black Widow would have secured a much larger opening weekend with a return of $92 (£67.6million) to $100million (£73.5million).