Disney’s Bob Iger Is “Mortified” Black Widow Star Sued Studio


Scarlett Johansson is currently suing Disney for missed royalties on Black Widow, a move reportedly surprising one of the highest executives on the Disney food chain. According to a new report published on Monday, Disney executive chairman Bob Iger is “mortified” the Black Widow star sued the House of Mouse.

The report comes from TheWrap, which published a scathing piece Monday morning detailing an alleged growing rift between Iger and Bob Chapek, the executive that took over for Iger when he stepped away from the CEO’s office last spring. The piece details a tumultuous Disney executive suite, even going the length to include a statement from one Disney insider suggesting Iger may have intentionally let “Chapek shoot himself in the foot.”

“I talked with a half-dozen executives familiar with Disney and its culture,” TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman wrote. “It seems that Iger either intentionally allowed Chapek to shoot himself in the foot with Johansson’s team by failing to step in and negotiate an alternative to a lawsuit, or that he is so disconnected from his successor that he was not in the loop to step in as he usually would.”

TheWrap was clear to point out Disney chief communications officer Zenia Much said none of the information was true.

Since news of Johansson’s lawsuit first surfaced, her camp and Disney have been battling it out in the media. Hours after the lawsuit was filed, Disney called it “sad and distressing.”

“The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” reads the Thursday statement from a Disney spokesperson. The studio “fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract,” the response continues, adding “the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”

Black Widow is now in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier Access. If you haven’t signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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Cover photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images