Walt Disney getting hit with another lawsuit.
Like most of the entertainment industry’s production companies, The Walt Disney Company and all of its associated studios had to shut down filming during the height and continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With unsafe environments caused by the virus, the world suffered a huge blow to its entertainment output over this past year.
Many corporations are back up and running in some capacity but that hasn’t stopped the events of the past causing a clash in the courtroom. The Walt Disney Company is facing a legal battle over a lawsuit connected to the shutdown costs relating to the pandemic.
The world undeniably shifted last year when the COVID-19 pandemic titled the world on its axis. One loss that people across the globe faced was the shutdown of many creative projects across home media, theatrical releases, live performances, and studio entertainment. Disney’s theme parks and all of their Disney Resorts also suffered closures, as did the Disney Store portfolio.
For The Walt Disney Company, which has a large market share of entertainment assets, this blow was huge for the House of Mouse. With their acquisitions of Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and Star Wars, 20th Century Studios, Hulu, and the launch of streaming service Disney+, for example, the shutdown meant that many Disney productions in the realm of entertainment media were postponed indefinitely.
A notable example of this was with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (2021) feature film, which shifted further down the release slate in order to still have its day in theaters — although, the next movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe will hit Disney+ simultaneously. The COVID shutdown also reportedly affected Lucasfilm shows like The Book of Boba Fett and Marvel’s, Loki. But, with health and safety measures lifting gradually, the entertainment industry is gaining steam once again now that certain restrictions are no longer in place.
While this seems like good news for The Walt Disney Company, with projects like The Little Mermaid and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) back on track, the corporation is now locked in a legal battle with an insurance firm over the costs of their extended filming shutdown.
For context, Disney sent claims to the insurer, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, to gain relief from the costs the pandemic caused when filming restrictions and shutdown protocols were put in place — notably, the “Second Wave” and “Holiday Hiatus” coverage. However, Fireman’s Fund doesn’t believe it has to pay for Disney’s request, and thus the insurer has sued the corporation for relief from the court case.