Marvel star Elizabeth Olsen has voiced her support of Scarlett Johansson in her lawsuit against Disney.
Johansson, a long-time actor in the Marvel Universe, has initiated legal proceedings against Disney, alleging that the release of Black Widow – her character’s first stand-alone movie – on the Disney+ streaming service at the same time as cinemas violated her contract.
And now Olsen, who is the star of Marvel’s first TV series WandaVision, has spoken out in support of Johansson.
When asked about the situation in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Olsen said: “I think she’s so tough and literally when I read [about the lawsuit] I was like, ‘Good for you Scarlett.’
“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.”
The interview was joint with actor Jason Sudeikis to promote the new Netflix drama Kodachrome. Sudeikis also shared his thoughts, saying the move “is appropriately bad-*** and on brand” for Johansson.
Speaking on the growing trend of films being released simultaneously on streaming platforms and in cinemas, Olsen said she is “worried about small movies getting the opportunity to be seen in theatres”.
“I like going to the movies and I don’t necessarily want to see only an Oscar contender or a blockbuster. I would like to see art films and art house theatre,” she said.
“And so I do worry about that, and people having to keep these theatres alive. And I don’t know how financially that works for these theatres.”
Disney has responded to Johansson’s lawsuit, saying: “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic."
On Friday, the entertainment studio filed a motion to make the legal proceedings private with a "confidential, binding arbitration in New York".
Johansson's lawyer has since criticised Disney for its "misogynistic attack" on the actress and its attempts to take legal proceedings behind closed doors.
"After initially responding to this litigation with a misogynistic attack against Scarlett Johansson, Disney is now, predictably, trying to hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration. Why is Disney so afraid of litigating this case in public?" said Johansson's lawyer, John Berlinski.
"Because it knows that Marvel’s promises to give Black Widow a typical theatrical release ‘like its other films’ had everything to do with guaranteeing that Disney wouldn’t cannibalise box office receipts in order to boost Disney+ subscriptions. Yet that is exactly what happened – and we look forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence that proves it."