Scarlett Johansson Credits Her Mother For Helping Her To Push For Equal Pay As An Avenger

Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson in Captain America: The First Avenger
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

It’s well known that in nearly every professional field, women don’t earn as much as men, and that’s the case in Hollywood as much as it is anywhere else. However, when Scarlett Johansson was one of the Avengers, she made as much money as the rest of the male-dominated team. The Black Widow actress says she has her mother to thank for both pushing her to fight for equity and for instilling those virtues in her.

Scarlett Johansson is certainly somebody who has shown she’s willing to fight for what she believes she deserves, so it’s little surprise that she made a point to make sure she was paid as well as her male co-stars for her Marvel Cinematic Universe projects. The actress tells Variety that fairness was important in her household, Johansson has four siblings, and it has continued to be important for her mother. Johansson said…

That has always been such an important point for my mom. It was like, ‘You should be making the same amount of money for similar screen time or effort. You have value. It was a given in our household that there be fairness.

One hopes most would agree that if two people are doing the same work, and the same amount of work, they should be compensated equally for it, but of course, this often is not the case. But Scarlett Johansson has no problem advocating for herself when it comes to fighting for what she deserves.

The most public case of this came with the release of Black Widow which, because it came out during the global pandemic, was released on Disney+ at the same time it was put in theaters. This almost certainly resulted in lower box office results than the movie would have otherwise received, which impacted Johansson directly since box office returns were tied to her own compensation. 

Johansson had reportedly tried to renegotiate her deal with Disney prior to the film's release, but when that ended up not happening, she sued Disney over her compensation. The two sides eventually settled the suit out of court, but it’s hard to argue that Disney didn’t come out of the whole thing with a black eye. If anything it was a sign to anybody else that wants to work with Scarlett Johansson that you should probably just plan to pay her what she’s worth.

The battle with Disney is over and the actress and studio appear to be back on good terms. But you can be sure that if they work together again, which is expected as a Tower of Terror project is still among the planned slate of upcoming Scarlett Johansson movies, the studio will pay her the same amount they would have paid any man in the same position.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.