It wouldn’t take much of a stretch to call Bob Iger perhaps the single most important and successful CEO that The Walt Disney Company has ever had, at least from an entertainment perspective. Under his stewardship, the Mouse House completed the purchases of Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel and even Fox while setting Disney Plus in motion, growing the empire to a level many people thought wasn’t possible for a single conglomerate in Hollywood.
Iger stepped down last year, with fellow Bob Chapek installed in his place. Whereas his predecessor came from a broadcasting and talent background, Chapek’s professional history was in the business sector overseeing Disney’s consumer products and theme park divisions. A new report on the whole Scarlett Johansson debacle offers that Chapek’s lack of a personal touch and distance from the studio’s roster of contracted A-listers is partly to blame for the Black Widow lawsuit, something they believe wouldn’t have happened on Iger’s watch.
“Chapek didn’t think it would blow up in his face. Bob Iger was named CEO in 2005 not only due to his business acumen, but for his mastery of developing and keeping relationships that he had honed for dozens of years working with temperamental, high-profile stars. Disney’s acquisition and management of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucas are testimony to his ability. Chapek’s previous experience with Disney Consumer Products, Parks and Resorts did not demand the same level of star-charged interaction.”
As per the report, Chapek was said to be bullish over the threats of legal action, believing that Johansson wouldn’t actually go through with it, something she wasn’t admittedly planning on doing until she found herself being ignored on multiple occasions when her agent tried to take the matter directly to the boardroom.
The mud-slinging continues as the longtime Natasha Romanoff defends herself against attacks on her character, while Disney potentially brace themselves for a high profile court battle against one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Hollywood’s most popular stars. Black Widow was announced for a Premier Access hybrid release months before the lawsuit became public knowledge, so there was plenty of time to resolve the matter and ensure that things didn’t get to the stage they’ve now reached.