Disney CEO Comments on Hybrid Releases in Light of ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit

Tonight’s Q3 Earnings Call from the Walt Disney Company offered brought some important news.

©The Walt Disney Company

We learned more about the company’s revenues and profits, capacity limits in the theme parks, and ongoing streaming projects. During the Q&A session at the end, we also got some interesting comments from Disney CEO Bob Chapek on how the company compensates actors.

Recently, the Walt Disney Company has been involved in a legal battle with Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson. The actress sued Disney after her film was released on Disney+ (in addition to its release in theaters), noting that her contract promised an exclusively theatrical release and its distribution on Disney+ Premier Access potentially cost her millions.


There has been a lot of back and forth between Johansson and Disney since then, with representatives for both sides speaking out about the situation. Then, in tonight’s call, Bob Chapek was asked about the company’s thought process when attracting and compensating talent — especially in a pandemic world where streaming has become very successful.


In response, Chapek shared that the films that are being released now were conceived 3 or 4 years ago, in an environment that is very different than what we see today. He said, “Just like we’ve done before, we’ve figured out ways to fairly compensate our talent so that no matter what the business model is, everybody feels satisfied.”

©Bloomberg via Getty Images

Chapek also noted that for the most part, the hundreds of talent arrangements they’ve dealt with during the pandemic have gone very smoothly and that he hopes that will be the case going forward. He said that they’re “trying to do the best thing for all constituents” and make sure that everyone feels they’re having their contractual commitments reached.


Throughout his comments, Chapek did not directly mention the Black Widow controversy or Scarlett Johansson. We’ll make sure to keep you updated if either party shares any more updates, so stay tuned.

Click Here to Learn About the Lawsuit!

Did you watch Black Widow in theaters or on Disney+?

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