The times, they are a changin' at Disney HQ. Tuesday, Bob Chapek revealed the company is actively researching ways to tweak contracts with acting talent in light of the lawsuit filed by Scarlett Johansson and her legal team over the box office performance of Black Widow. The Disney CEO made his comments at the "Communacopia Conference" hosted by Goldman Sachs Tuesday morning.
"We've got a deal that's conceived under a certain set of conditions that actually results in a movie that's being released in a completely different set, so there's a bit of a reset that's going on right now, and ultimately we'll think about that as we do our future talent deals and plan for that and make sure that that's incorporated," Chapek said at the event (via THR). "But right now, we've got sort of this middle position where we're trying to do right by the talent. I think the talent's trying to do right by us, and we're just sort of figuring out our way to bridge the gap."
It's said the executive didn't specifically state the legal troubles ongoing with Johansson, but did mention deals signed prior to the pandemic that ultimately had to be altered due to the status of the exhibition industry. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the House of Mouse is now said to be restructuring talent contracts wherever they can.
Neither Disney nor Johansson's legal team have kept quiet regarding the lawsuit, with one of the latest statements from the actor's legal team calling the studio misogynistic.
"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," John Berlinski, Johansson's attorney, said in August. "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."
Black Widow is now available wherever movies are sold and will be added to Disney+ on October 6th. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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