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Jamie Lee Curtis stands with Scarlett Johansson amid Disney lawsuit: ‘Don’t f*** with this mama bear’

Curtis is one of the few Hollywood A-listers to publicly comment on the ‘Black Widow’ star’s legal battle

Maanya Sachdeva
Friday 17 September 2021 14:02 BST
Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney Over Streaming Release of 'Black Widow'

Jamie Lee Curtis pledged her support to Scarlett Johansson amid the actor’s ongoing lawsuit with Disney over an alleged breach of contract.

In the lawsuit, Johansson alleged that the studio’s decision to hybrid release the standalone Black Widow in cinemas and on Disney Plus at the same time had violated her contract.

While many industry A-listers have chosen not to publicly comment on the lawsuit, Curtis openly defended Johansson in an essay honouring the Black Widow actor as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2021.

“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,” Curtis wrote.

She continued: “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 theatres and on streaming cost her substantial losses in pay.”

Curtis added: “Whether as an assassin with a conscience, an actor with an emotional centre or, having just given birth to her second child, a fierce mother, the message is clear: Don’t f*** with this mama bear.”

Johansson’s filing, which was reviewed by The Independent, alleged that the actor’s compensation for the movie was “largely based” on Black Widow’s box office performance, which was substantially lower than projected.

At the time, Disney responded to Johansson’s claims with a statement that said the Hitchcock actor’s lawsuit displayed a “callous regard” for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The company told The Independent: “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.

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“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.”

Last month, the company filed a motion to force the actor into a private arbitration.

In response, Johansson’s lawyer accused Disney of a “misogynistic attack” on the star and said it was “predictably trying to hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration”.

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