In a not-so-surprising twist, Disney does not actually want the lawsuit from Scarlett Johansson to go to court. Apparently, arbitration is what they want instead. What is that exactly? Well…

Arbitration Agreement image.
Not as good as it looks for Scarlett Johansson.

On August 9, 2021; WDW News Today reported that Disney wants to go the arbitration route in dealing with the lawsuit from Scarlett Johansson over Black Widow. The original report came from The Wall Street Journal, and basically proves that Disney really does not want this lawsuit to go to court. Which is incredibly ironic in so many ways. Not least of which is because Disney had previously told Variety that Johansson is basically lying about her contract in her lawsuit as part of a “highly orchestrated PR campaign”, and that “No amount of public pressure can change or obscure the explicit contractual commitments. The written contract is clear as a bell.”.

And yet, if Disney were to succeed in getting the lawsuit into arbitration, it would make the entire case confidential information. None of the details would be revealed to the public, even long after the case itself has ended. Even the lawyer litigating for Scarlett Johansson, John Berlinski, called it an attempt by Disney to “hide its misconduct from the public in a confidential arbitration”. With such a contradiction in Disney’s statements, I would not disagree with him.

Scarlett Johansson Lawsuit: A Case of Contradiction for Disney

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, holding an AA-12 automatic shotgun.
What Black Widow thinks of this “arbitration”.

My personal opinion on this is that Disney sucks, but we already knew that, so let me go into the details. Disney’s attempt to move the case to arbitration suggests that they don’t actually think they will win. It also suggests that they are basically lying through their teeth about the details of their contract with Scarlett Johansson. At least, the parts they revealed to the press. All in all, Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit looks to be in good shape. We will just have to see what happens next in the coming weeks. Possibly months or even years, depending on how long this lawsuit drags on.


Disney wants to seek arbitration in the lawsuit with Scarlett Johansson over the simultaneous release of the Marvel film Black Widow in both theaters and Disney+. This suggests that Disney thinks they have a very real chance of losing here. We will just have to see what her response is to this turn of events as this story develops.

Source: WDW News Today, The Wall Street Journal, Variety