Jamie Lee Curtis went to bat for Scarlett Johansson amid her Black Widow lawsuit.
The 62-year-old actress wrote a strongly worded opinion piece for Time Magazine, on Wednesday, in which she detailed her thoughts about the starlet’s decision to take legal action against Disney.
Curtis defended the 36-year-old actress for her ‘brilliant response to a real-life manipulation’ by big film studios, warning readers ‘Don’t f**k’ with the Black Widow actress.
Johansson is suing Disney for breach of contact for their decision to release her Marvel movie via streaming and in theaters simultaneously, a move which Scarlet alleges cost her millions.
Got your back! Jamie Lee Curtis went to bat for Scarlett Johansson in a Time Magazine piece where she defended her Black Widow lawsuit against Disney and warned ‘Don’t f**k’ with her in general
The Freaky Friday star was tasked to write a piece on Scarlett for the 100 Most Influential People of 2021 where she spoke about feeling a ‘kinship’ with the actress, before she commended her performance as Black Widow — at which point drew a comparison between the film’s plot and Johansson’s real life legal situation.
‘I recently watched her own the screen as the Black Widow, who exacts revenge on a powerful figure who manipulates (emphasis on man) women to fight for him.
‘And then I saw her brilliant response to a real-life manipulation (same emphasis), when she filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the studio, alleging its decision to release the film simultaneously in theaters and on streaming cost her substantial losses in pay.
‘Whether as an assassin with a conscience, an actor with an emotional center or, having just given birth to her second child, a fierce mother, the message is clear: Don’t f**k with this mama bear,’ she concluded.
Black Widow: On July 29, Scarlett filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that Disney was in breach of her contract by releasing Black Widow on their streaming service Disney+
On July 29, Scarlett filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that Disney was in breach of her contract by releasing Black Widow on their streaming service Disney+.
The film was released simultaneously on the service and in theaters, and she alleged in the suit that as her salary was meant to be based on the film’s box office numbers, her contract should have been renegotiated to account for revenue from streaming.
The simultaneous release it was added had caused the Marvel film to underperform at the box office, and that she was owed more than the $20Million promised in her initial contract.
The film brought in $80 Million in its North America theatrical opening and $60 Million globally on Disney+. It made $367 million worldwide at the box office and an additional $125 million in streaming.
Dual release: In the suit Scarlett and her legal team claimed that the simultaneous release caused the Marvel film to underperform at the box office and that she was owed more than the $20 Million outlined in her contract for a solely theatrical release
Disney responded to the lawsuit saying: ‘There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,’ and that the simultaneous release had ‘significantly enhanced’ her compensation.
‘The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.’
In August Disney filed a motion to move the lawsuit into private arbitration, after Johansson’s filing had also demanded a jury trial.
Their attorney Daniel Petrocelli argued that ‘Disney lived up to its obligation to give the film a wide theatrical release, but that nothing in the contract required the release to be exclusive to theaters,’ per Variety.
Disney CEO: In Curtis’ piece she said that Scarlett had a ‘brilliant response to a real-life manipulation’ as she suggested Disney CEO Bob Chapek had tried to take advantage of the situation; pictured 2019
Her attorney John Berlinski responded that the company had responded to the initial suit by waging a ‘misogynistic attack’ and were now ‘trying to hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration.’
Other celebrities who have supported the actress’ actions include WandaVision’s Elizabeth Olsen who told Vanity Fair in August: ‘I think she’s so tough and literally when I read that I was like, “good for you Scarlett.”
Fellow Marvel universe actor Benedict Cumberbatch called the whole thing ‘a bit of a mess,’ in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter on September 8.
‘The whole thing’s just a bit of a mess. We’re trying to understand what the revenue streams should be for artists that contribute to the billion-dollar business that is Disney. And it has to be contractualized.’
Marvel musings: Other Marvel universe stars including Elizabeth Olsen and Benedict Cumberbatch have shared their thoughts on the matter