Scarlett Johansson Accuses Disney of 'Trying to Hide Its Misconduct' With 'Black Widow' Arbitration Demand

“Why is Disney so afraid of litigating this case in public?” Johansson’s attorney said Saturday

Marvel Studios

Scarlett Johansson said through her attorney Saturday that Disney is “trying to hide its misconduct” with a request to move her “Black Widow” lawsuit to arbitration.

“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,” Johansson’s attorney John Berlinski said in a statement provided to TheWrap Saturday, in response to Disney’s Friday motion to compel arbitration.

“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.”

A representative for Disney did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment Saturday.

According to documents filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court by Disney’s attorneys on Friday, Johansson (referred to by her loan-out company’s name, Perwinkle, in the documents) “agreed that all claims ‘arising out of, in connection with, or relating to’ Scarlett Johansson’s acting services for ‘Black Widow’ would be submitted to confidential, binding arbitration in New York.”

Per the filing, “Whether Periwinkle’s claims against Disney fall within the scope of that agreement is not a close call: Periwinkle’s interference and inducement claims are premised on Periwinkle’s allegation that Marvel breached the contract’s requirement that any release of ‘Black Widow’ include a ‘wide theatrical release’ on ‘no less than 1,500 screens. The plain and expansive language of the arbitration agreement easily encompasses Periwinkle’s Complaint.”

More to come…

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