Jamie Lee Curtis is standing behind Scarlett Johansson and her lawsuit against Disney for allegedly breaching their contract with Black Widow.
Curtis, 62, wrote an opinion piece for Time Magazine yesterday (September 15), defending the 36-year-old actress for her “brilliant response to a real-life manipulation” by big film studios, warning readers “Don’t f–k” with her.
On July 29, Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney for their decision to release her Marvel movie via streaming and in theaters simultaneously, a move which Scarlett alleges cost her millions. In the lawsuit, Johansson said her agreement with Marvel Studios guaranteed an exclusive movie theater-only release and her salary was based largely on box-office performance.
The suit alleged that “Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel.”
“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,” Johansson’s attorney John Berlinski said in a statement. “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. This will surely not be the last case where Hollywood talent stands up to Disney and makes it clear that, whatever the company may pretend, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts.”
For Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021 list, Curtis was tasked to write a piece on Scarlett, writing, “I always felt a kinship with Scarlett Johansson because she was born on my birthday, in the year I was married. Then she was cast to play Janet Leigh, my mother, in the movie Hitchcock,” Curtis said. “There’s a moment in that movie that startles me, where I look at Scarlett and she is my mother.”
Speaking on her role as Natasha Romanov, Curtis praises her character’s strength, “who exacts revenge on a powerful figure who manipulates (emphasis on man) women to fight for him. And then I saw her brilliant response to a real-life manipulation (same emphasis), when she filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the studio, alleging its decision to release the film simultaneously in theaters and on streaming cost her substantial losses in pay.”
She concluded in her Time piece, “Whether as an assassin with a conscience, an actor with an emotional center or, having just given birth to her second child, a fierce mother, the message is clear: Don’t f— with this mama bear.”