Disney have accused Scarlett Johansson of showing a “callous disregard” for the COVID-19 pandemic after she filed a lawsuit against them for releasing ‘Black Widow’ on Disney Plus.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

The 36-year-old actress is suing the media giant for putting the Marvel movie – in which she stars as the titular superhero – on their streaming site at the same time as releasing it in cinemas, as she believes it violates a clause in her contract relating to her salary.

Scarlett says her contract with Disney stated the movie would be exclusively released in cinemas and claims her salary was tied to how well the film performed at the box office, and with the film available to view at home on the streaming service, less people ventured out to see it in cinemas.

And following the lawsuit, Disney have now responded to Scarlett claims, insisting there is “no merit” in the filing.

The media giant condemned Scarlett’s actions as having a “disregard” for the “horrific and prolonged global effects” of the current pandemic, which have contributed to lower cinema turnouts and higher demand for streaming services.

In a statement, they said: “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Disney went on to say they have “fully complied” with Scarlett’s contract, and have even agreed to paying “additional compensation” for the film’s streaming service release.

They added: “[Disney] has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of ‘Black Widow’ on Disney Plus with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”

‘Black Widow’ grossed $80 million in domestic box office opening weekend, as well as another $78 million overseas and $60 million from home purchases on the streaming platform.

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