Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, in Marvel’s “Black Widow”.

Disney | wonder

The President of the Screen Actor’s Guild beat up Disney on Friday for “bullying” Marvel actress Scarlett Johansson in a public statement following the Black Widow star’s lawsuit against the company last week.

Gabrielle Carteris said Disney should be “ashamed” of its “gender-shaming” tactic, which suggests the actor “callously disregards” the dangers of Covid-19 to cinema audiences.

“Actors must be paid for their work according to their contracts,” she said in a statement. “Scarlett Johansson throws a glowing spotlight on the inadequate shifts in compensation that companies try to slip through talent as sales models change.”

Carteris, whose organization represents some 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists and performers across the media space, said no one in any field should “fall victim to surprising cuts in expected compensation.”

She said SAG was deeply concerned about the “sexual tone” of Disney’s reaction.

“Women are not ‘numb’ when they stand up and fight for fair pay – they are leaders and advocates for economic justice,” she said. “Women have been victims of wage inequality for decades and they continue to fall victim to comments like those in Disney’s press releases. Such attacks have no place in our society and SAG-AFTRA continues to protect our members from all forms of bias.”

Johansson filed a lawsuit against the company late last week, alleging Disney breached its contract when it released “Black Widow” on its streaming service Disney + while it was debuting in theaters at the same time.

Like many Marvel veterans, including Robert Downey Jr., Johansson negotiated that a percentage of box office receipts be added to their salary. This has become increasingly common in Marvel Cinematic Universe films due to their theatrical track record.

The movie’s streaming release seared on box office profits, although Disney reported that “Black Widow” made $ 60 million in sales on Disney + on the opening weekend. Globally, the film grossed nearly $ 350 million in movie ticket sales, one of the lowest haul of any Marvel movie to date.

In her lawsuit, Johansson alleged that the switch from Black Widow to Disney +, while primarily aimed at public safety, cost her a $ 50 million payout.

“Disney and other content companies are doing very well and can certainly meet their obligations to compensate the performers whose art and art are responsible for the company’s profits,” SAG’s Carteris said Friday.

Disney responded to Johansson’s lawsuit last week, saying she had “no merit at all” and had “completely honored” her contract. The company also announced that the star received $ 20 million and could see a drop in sales at Disney +. It is not common for companies to share compensation information.