Bob Chapek Defends Disney’s Talent Compensation in Vague Statement About ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has finally made a vague public statement about Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit regarding “Black Widow”‘s simultaneous theater and Disney+ release. At the Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference, Chapek was asked about the compensation of Hollywood talent as distribution models are changed, and the advantages Disney has as a place that talent wants to work.

Chapek did not mention Johansson specifically, but said, “Disney has had a long history of having very symbiotic and cooperative deals with the talent, and we will continue to. Certainly, the world is changing, and the talent deals going forward will have to reflect the fact that the world is changing. We’re in a moment of time where films were envisioned under one understanding about what the world would be, because frankly, it hadn’t changed much.

“Remember those films were made three or four years ago; those deals were cut three or four years ago. Then they get launched in the middle of a global pandemic where that pandemic itself is accelerating a second dynamic, which is this changing consumer behavior. So, we’re sort of putting a square peg in a round hole right now where we’ve got a deal conceived under a certain set of conditions, that actually results in a movie that is being released in a completely different set of conditions.

“So there’s a bit of rest going on right now. Ultimately, we’ll think about that as we do our future talent deals and plan for that and make sure that’s incorporated. But right now, we have this sort of middle position, where we’re trying to do right by the talent, I think the talent is trying to do right by us, and we’re just figuring out our way to bridge the gap. Ultimately we believe our talent is our most important asset, and we’ll continue to believe that, and as we always have, we’ll compensate them fairly per the terms of the contract that they agreed to us with.”

Disney most recently was forcing the “Black Widow” lawsuit into private arbitration. Kevin Feige was reportedly angry with Disney regarding the situation, while insiders blamed Chapek for the lawsuit.

Source: Deadline

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Brent Brazell
Brent Brazell
25 days ago

Bob Chapek is an idiot. Any CEO should have had the fore thought to get ahead of this situation with Scarlet. Instead of protecting an actor who could have been a part of an extension and then a new cornerstone of the Marvel Universe, he just let this happen. And cost the Disney organization lose a ton of money. Again, he is an idiot.

25 days ago

I know he said symbiotic, but does he mean symbiotic like the Carnage symbiote or did he just mean parasitic.

25 days ago

How about you honor the contract regardless. Used to be your word was your bond. Now its trying to see what legal loophole lets you have the most benefit. If the other party of the contract chooses to renegotiate, then fine. Otherwise honor your word and just realize that things will have to be handled differently in future contracts moving forward.