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A Timeline Of Scarlett Johansson's Disney Lawsuit, So Far

For more than a decade, Scarlett Johansson had a close relationship with Disney. As a founding member of the MCU's Avengers, Johansson was part of some of the studio's greatest triumphs, culminating with 2019's mega-event Avengers: Endgame.

RELATED: 5 Ways Black Widow Is Scarlett Johansson's Best Role (& 5 Better Alternatives)

Things took a turn for the worst when, on July 29, 2021, Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney, claiming Black Widow's simultaneous release in theaters and Disney+ was a breach of her contract. Disney issued a direct response, and the fight now seems to be going all the way to court. Hollywood now awaits to see how the situation develops, but one thing is for sure: if Johansson wins, Tinseltown will never be the same.

10 July 9: Black Widow Premieres In Cinemas And Disney+

After multiple delays, Black Widow finally premiered on July 9, 2021. The movie debuted simultaneously on cinemas and Disney+, grossing $219 million worldwide, including $80 million at the domestic box office. Disney also provided streaming numbers, declaring the movie grossed $60 million on premier access.

For all terms and purposes, that was an excellent debut for the movie. In fact, Black Widow had the largest opening of the pandemic era, surpassing F9's $70 million.

9 July 29: Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney

Things took a turn on July 29, when Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney. In the documents, Johansson alleged that the simultaneous release on cinemas and Disney+ breached a stipulation on her contract that guaranteed a traditional theatrical release for Black Widow.

Furthermore, Johansson's complaint said that Disney's release strategy cost her millions of dollars in backend compensation. The lawsuit took Hollywood by storm, and it wouldn't be long before Disney issued a statement of their own.

8 July 29: Disney Fires Back At Scarlett Johansson

On the same day, Disney fired back at Johansson. In a statement, a Disney spokesperson claimed that "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."

In a mover that would later prove controversial, the studio also revealed Johansson's salary for Black Widow. The statement also claimed that "the release of Black Widow on Disney+ has significantly enhanced (Johansson's) ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date." Disney's response attracted significant criticism from insiders within the industry and audiences alike.

7 July 30: Scarlet Johansson's Agent Slams Disney's Response

By July 30, the scandal was raging. CAA's co-chairman and Johansson's agent, Bryan Lourd, issued a statement supporting the actress and slamming Disney. "(The Walt Disney Company has) shamelessly and falsely accused Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an attempt to make her appear to be someone they and I know she isn't."

RELATED: Scarlett Johansson's 10 Most Iconic Roles, Ranked From Most Action-Packed To Most Dramatic

Lourd goes on to talk about Johansson's journey throughout the MCU, stating that the nine movies she made with the studio "earned Disney and its shareholders billions." Lourd ended his statement by saying that "Disney's direct attack on her character and all else they implied is beneath the company that many of us in the creative community have worked with successfully for decades."

6 July 30: Reports Claim Kevin Feige Is Angry At Disney

It wasn't long before Kevin Feige's name made its way to the discourse. According to former Hollywood Reporter editor Matt Belloni, the architect behind the MCU was "p*ssed." In his blog What I'm Hearing..., Belloni stated that Feige was reportedly "angry and embarrassed" over Disney's handling of the situation.

Belloni also explained that Feige "lobbied Disney against the day-and-date plan for Black Widow, preferring the big screen exclusivity and not wanting to upset his talent." Furthermore, Belloni noted Feige's relevance to the studio, even going so far as to call him "Disney's most important employee." Indeed, Feige has raked in billions for Disney, making him one of the most successful producers ever.

5 July 30: Reports Claim Emma Stone Is Considering Suing Disney Over Cruella's Release

Just when audiences thought things couldn't get any worse, Screenrant reported that Emma Stone was considering a lawsuit of her own over the hybrid release of Cruella. The movie, which told the origin story of one of cinema's most iconic villains, premiered on May 28, grossing $21.4 million.

In his exclusive newsletter What I'm Hearing..., former THR editor Matt Belloni claimed that Stone was "weighing her options." Belloni went on to claim that Johansson had tremendous support from fellow artists. As of August 2021, Stone has yet to file a lawsuit; if she does, it could mean the end for Disney's premier access model.

4 July 30: Several Female-Led Hollywood Groups Accuse Disney Of "Gendered Attack" Against Scarlett Johansson

July 30 would turn out to be a crucial day for the situation. After Disney's less than appropriate initial response, many were quick to condemn the Mouse House. In a joint issue, three major female-led Hollywood groups--TIME'S UP, Women in Film, Los Angeles, and ReFrame--called Disney's response " a gendered character attack."

The statement claimed that, while the organizations took no position in the litigation between Johansson and Disney, they stood "firmly against Disney's recent statement, which attempts to characterize Johansson as insensitive or selfish for defending her contractual business rights."

3 August 2: Reports Claim Bob Iger Is "Mortified" By Scarlett Johansson's Lawsuit

Bob Iger stepped down as CEO of the Walt Disney Company on February 20, 2020. Bob Chapek took on the mantle, and while the transition was supposedly easy, rumors soon arose of friction between the two men. In an August 2 articleThe Wrap goes so far as to claim that "It's an open secret in Hollywood that Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger and CEO Bob Chapek have been estranged for months."

RELATED: Disney+'s 10 Best Original Shows, Ranked By IMDB

The Wrap's Sharon Waxman claims that Iger is "mortified" over the situation. Moreover, a Disney insider claimed that Iger "either intentionally allowed Chapek to shoot himself in the foot... by failing to step in and negotiate an alternative to a lawsuit, or that he is so disconnected from his successor that he was not in the loop to step in as he usually would."

2 August 6: SAG-Aftra Says Disney "Should Be Ashamed"

SAG-Aftra's president Gabrielle Carteris weighed in on the situation on August 6. On behalf of the actors union, Carteris stated that "Disney should be ashamed of themselves for resorting to tired tactics of gender-shaming and bullying."

Carteris went on to claim that "actors must be compensated for their work according to their contracts." To finish her statement, Carteris added that SAG-Aftra is "deeply concerned by the gendered tone of Disney's criticism of Ms. Johansson."

1 Now: An Uncertain Future For Hollywood

Almost two weeks after Johansson first filed the lawsuit, the situation doesn't seem to be close to ending. If anything, things are getting messier, and neither side seems willing to back down. More and more industry insiders are talking about the conflict, like producer Jason Blum, who recently said that Johansson "is really brave" and "is fighting for all of talent."

In an August 4 report, THR's Kim Masters writes that streaming might bring the end to "massive backend deals," which might prompt other stars to join Johansson's fight. And what about Disney? The company that built its brand on wholesome happiness suffered a heavy blow from this situation. Many believe the lawsuit tarnished Disney's reputation--and might even open a Pandora's Box that the Mouse will struggle to close.

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