Elizabeth Olsen backs ‘Avengers’ co-star Scarlett Johansson amid Disney lawsuit


Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson has now found support in her Avengers co-actor Elizabeth Olsen amid her ongoing Black Widow lawsuit against Disney Studios.

Johansson has sued Disney for breach of contract over their decision to release Marvel Studios’ Black Widow on the streaming platform Disney Plus and in theatres simultaneously.

“I think she’s so tough and literally when I read that I was like, ‘Good for you Scarlett’,” Olsen said in a joint Vanity Fair interview with Jason Sudeikis.

In the lawsuit, filed in July, attorneys for Johansson claimed that the star’s contract was breached when the studio opted not to debut the film exclusively in theatres.

Black Widow, featuring Johansson as the titular superhero, released in the theatres and on Disney’s streaming platform on July 9. The film set a pandemic-era box office record with its 80 million debut in North America and earned 78 million overseas. It also made 60 million on Disney Plus.

The lawsuit by Johansson contends that the Disney Plus release siphoned potential theatregoers, costing her potential compensation tied to the movie’s theatrical revenue. In response, Disney called the actor’s claims “sad and distressing” and accused her of showing “callous disregard” for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The studio is now asking that the suit move to a private arbitration, which also received flak on social media.

In the interview, Olsen, star of Marvel’s Disney Plus series WandaVision also expressed concern about “small movies getting the opportunity to be seen in theatres”, adding she was “not worried on Scarlett’s behalf”.

“When it comes to actors and their earnings, I mean, that’s just, that’s just all contracts. So it’s either in the contract or it’s not,” she added. Sudeikis called Johansson’s fight against Disney “appropriately bada** and on brand”.

The actor, who stars in Apple TV Plus’ drama Ted Lasso, also discussed striking a balance between streaming and theatrical releases.

“I just hope that with that still comes creative autonomy, and we don’t lose sight of that,” he said. Dave Bautista of “Guardians of the Galaxy” film franchise is the only other Marvel star who previously commented on the controversy.

“Told em they should’ve made a #Drax movie but noooooo! (sic)” Bautista, who plays Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had tweeted.

30 Rock alum Alec Baldwin showed his support to Johansson by tweeting, “#TeamScarlett”. 

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