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Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit against Disney for breach of contract for the movie Black Widow highlights blatant sexism in Hollywood.
Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney for breach of contract for the movie Black Widow highlights blatant sexism in Hollywood.
Why did award-winning Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson file the lawsuit? Disney has earlier stated that the film Black Widow will only be released in the theatres. However, last month (July 2021), they released the film in both theatres and on Disney+ OTT channel in the US.
This was a direct breach of contract, as the OTT release reduced her profits from the theatrical release. Disney has fired back and claimed the actress’s lawsuit has no merit. This incident has shaken the entire entertainment industry.
Many see this lawsuit as a game-changing move. If big companies like Disney can disregard Scarlett Johansson, then the plight of other women is unimaginable. Although she is getting support from the industry, her marvel co-stars are surprisingly silent.
There has been no statement from Robert Downey Jr or Chris Evans even after the statement by Disney where they slammed the actress’s lawsuit, called it meritless, revealed her salary, and accused her of being insensitive to the pandemic!
Disney has also taken credit for her “significantly enhanced ability to earn additional compensation on top of the 20M dollars she has received to date.”
Some of Hollywood’s biggest talent agencies and advocacy agencies condemned the statement and called it a ‘gendered character’ attack. This aggressive statement by Disney and the revelation of her salary to weaponize her success as an artist and a businesswoman sheds light on the plight of women in Hollywood.
The fact that not even a single marvel actor has come forward in her defence is a stark contrast to what happened when Chris Pratt was said to follow a church known for its homophobia. He received great support from his co-workers ranging from Robert Downey Jr to Mark Ruffalo.
Why the silence from her male co-stars Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans? I wonder if Robert Downey Jr, already paid 80$ with his ever-increasing demands, will ever be paid so little that he will have to take legal action?
That is how women in Hollywood are treated. Irrespective of their talent and popularity, they are paid less than their male co-workers and are shamed if they voice their concerns. Wage gap is a reality in Hollywood just like any other industry.
Despite the blatant sexism highlighted by this lawsuit, the industry refuses to accept that it is equal and just for stars like Scarlett to sue the company if they are underpaid because of a contract breach.
Regardless of how rich or successful, society cannot stand to support women professionals claiming their deserved share.
Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit could be a game-changer and encourage other women to come ahead!
If Disney, a 130M $ company can reduce to character shaming and underpaying its most famous actresses, then what is left for others who are not in the circumstances to highlight this issue is a question we collectively need to raise?
Scarlett, fortunately, has received immense support from Twitter and Instagram. ‘Team Scarlett’ has been trending. Memes have started popping up as soon as the news burst and Disney reacted the way it did.
Emma Stone the actress who played the role of Cruella has been considering her options after Scarlett’s lawsuit. She along with Emma Stone and Emily Blunt are considering suing Disney for the hybrid release of their movies.
This is a good step towards fighting these giant companies that ignore the contracts of women artists and callously gender-shame them for profit.
Image source: Still from Black Widow and collage of various memes on social media
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Divya is a catmom, a hodophile and an intersectional feminist with a Master’s degree in English with Communication studies. She loves beaches and is currently trying to compensate for it by making resin beaches.
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: