Disney CEO Defends Disney+ Movie Releases amid Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit: ‘We Value Flexibility’

bob chapek

bob chapek

getty (2) Bob Chapek; Scarlett Johansson          

Disney CEO Bob Chapek is standing by the corporate’s hybrid film launch mannequin amid Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit.

During an earnings name on Thursday, Chapek spoke in regards to the twin releases of movies in film theaters and on Disney+, telling Wall Street analysts, “We value flexibility in being able to make last-minute calls,” in keeping with Deadline.

Chapek, who didn’t point out Johansson, 36, or Black Widow by title, stated, “Certainly when we planned we didn’t anticipate the resurgence of COVID.”

He added that he and former CEO Bob Iger, who now serves as chairman of the board at Disney, “determined” the twin launch plan for a number of of this yr’s motion pictures “was the right strategy to enable us to reach the broadest possible audience.” 

Chapek additionally reiterated that “distribution decisions are made on a film-by-film basis. We will continue to utilize all options going forward.”

A spokesperson for Disney didn’t instantly reply to PEOPLE’s request for remark.

RELATED: Time’s Up, Other Groups Accuse Disney of ‘Gendered’ Attack on Scarlett Johansson amid Lawsuit

Black Widow

Black Widow

Film Frame/Marvel Studios 2020 Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow (2021)         

Later within the name, Chapek revealed Disney has “entered into hundreds of talent arrangements” which have “by and large gone very smoothly,” in keeping with The Hollywood Reporter. 

“Just like what we’ve done many times before, we’ve found ways to fairly compensate our talent so that, no matter what, everyone feels satisfied,” he stated.

Chapek’s feedback come two weeks after Johansson, who has starred in Marvel motion pictures since 2010’s Iron Man, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles alleging Disney breached her contract when it launched Black Widow on Disney+ on the identical time that it was launched in film theaters.

In the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, Johansson stated her Black Widow contract with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment was for a assured unique movie-theater launch, with the majority of her wage relying largely on the movie’s box-office efficiency.

RELATED VIDEO: O-T Fagbenle Jokes Scarlett Johansson Made It a Struggle to ‘Focus’ on Black Widow Set

In a press release made after the submitting was made public, a Disney spokesperson for the corporate stated, “There isn’t any benefit in any way to this submitting. The lawsuit is very unhappy and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and extended world results 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,” the assertion continued.

RELATED: Scarlett Johansson’s Agent Accuses Disney of Attempting to ‘Weaponize Her Success’ amid Lawsuit

Johansson’s lawyer John Berlinski stated in a press release obtained by PEOPLE, “It’s no secret that Disney is releasing films like Black Widow directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company’s stock price — and that it’s hiding behind COVID-19 as a pretext to do so. But ignoring the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films in furtherance of this short-sighted strategy violates their rights and we look forward to proving as much in court.”

Disney confronted backlash from Johansson’s agent, Bryan Lourd, and a number of ladies’s teams in Hollywood, akin to Time’s Up, ReFrame and Women in Film, Los Angeles, who known as the corporate’s response to the actress’s lawsuit “a gendered character assault.” 


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