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Why Should Scarlett Johansson Have To Sue Disney To Get Her Fair Share For Black Widow?

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.



If Disney can disregard Scarlett Johansson, then the plight of other women is unimaginable

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.”

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Why silence from Avengers male co-stars Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans?

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?

Scarlett Johansson

Wage gap and sexism in Hollywood 

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.


‘Team Scarlett’ goes viral on social media 

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. 


She is not alone…Hollywood actresses Emma Stone and Emily Blunt come ahead!

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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About the Author

Divya Gaddam

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. read more...

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