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Discourse reignites over Scarlett Johansson’s previous tussle with Disney amid SAG-AFTRA strike

With SAG-AFTRA striking, Johansson's 2021 lawsuit has proven to be quite the omen.

Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Scarlett Johansson‘s lawsuit against Disney back in 2021 may have had something of a happy ending, with the Black Widow actress allegedly accepting $40 million to settle the case against the Mouse House, but the fact that such action had to be taken at all spoke ominous volumes about the state of the entertainment industry, and they’re all coming to the fore now that SAG-AFTRA has officially gone on strike.

Johansson filed the lawsuit against the company two summers ago after it released Black Widow in theaters and on Disney Plus simultaneously, which breached the actor’s contract and resulted in her losing out on a fair shake of her entitled box office bonus, as a simultaneous release would harm the film’s overall box office performance relative to an exclusive theatrical release.

And now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has helped air the entertainment industry’s dirty laundry with regards to streaming residuals, some folks can’t help but notice just how prophetic Johansson’s lawsuit really was.

For many of us, it may have been clear as day that Disney was up to some unsavory decision-making back then, but given that we now know the truth about the trivial amount that writers and actors are paid from streaming residuals (while the suits continue to nab top dollar, of course), to say nothing of how much the situation has been compounded by the streaming service’s content purging, there’s a whole new perspective to Johansson’s brave endeavor, and it seems as though we owe the star more respect than ever.

Charlotte Simmons
About the author

Charlotte Simmons

Charlotte is a freelance writer for We Got This Covered, a graduate of St. Thomas University's English program, a fountain of film opinions, and the single biggest fan of Peter Jackson's 'King Kong,' probably. Having written professionally since 2018, her work has also appeared in The Town Crier and The East