Disney called Johansson’s lawsuit “sad and distressing” and then showed off how much money Johansson earned from the franchise in an attempt to discredit her claims.
Johansson’s legal representatives say that they were “shocked by the tone” of the response from Disney. The Disney statement read that Johansson’s lawsuit was “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The company then stated that Johansson earned $20 million USD from the franchise and that “the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation.”
Johansson’s agent, Bryan Lourd, responded and called out Disney for what has been perceived as a low blow. Disney is “shamelessly and falsely accus[ing] Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an attempt to make her appear to be someone they and I know she isn’t.”
“The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of. They have very deliberately moved the revenue stream and profits to the Disney+ side of the company leaving artistic and financial partners out of their new equation… Disney’s direct attack on her character and all else they implied is beneath the company that many of us in the creative community have worked with successfully for decades.”
The response from the industry has praised Johansson for taking on the Mouse and many have begun to wonder what the ramifications will be for Disney. Considering their response, they are willing to fight against this and are worried about what this may mean for them if should Johansson succeed. Only time will tell.