Why Did Marvel Really Fire Victoria Alonso?
Was it an issue of contracts, politics, or finances?
Victoria Alonso, a producer of many major Marvel movies, recently separated from the franchise after working on it for seventeen years. Now, Alonso and Disney are giving conflicting accounts of why that split happened.
Initially, The Hollywood Reporter claimed that the break was due to a breach of contract on Alonso’s part, in reference to her producing a film for Disney’s competitor, Amazon Studios. The film, Argentina, 1985, was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 2023 Oscars.
However, the timing feels suspect, as why would it only now be an issue?
The Los Angeles Times later reported that “Alonso was not terminated after she violated the contract but was given a new employment agreement and was told not to continue promoting the film.” Alonso reportedly disregarded the new agreement and continued promoting the film. However, Alonso’s attorney, Patty Glaser, now claims that this breaking of the contract was not over the film but over larger disagreements.
“The idea that Victoria was fired over a handful of press interviews relating to a personal passion project about human rights and democracy that was nominated for an Oscar and which she got Disney’s blessing to work on is absolutely ridiculous,” Glaser told the Los Angeles Times. “Victoria, a gay Latina who had the courage to criticize Disney, was silenced.”
Alonso had previously talked with then-CEO Bob Chapek about Disney taking a stand against Florida’s Don’t Say Gay Bill, publicly bringing it up while accepting an award from GLAAD in Los Angeles. “So I ask you again, Mr. Chapek: Please respect—if we’re selling family—take a stand against all of these crazy outdated laws,” she said. “Take a stand for family.”
Glaser stated that Alonso “was terminated when she refused to do something she believed was reprehensible” and that “Disney and Marvel made a really poor decision that will have serious consequences… There is a lot more to this story and Victoria will be telling it shortly — in one forum or another.” We’re certainly looking forward to that, considering that we don’t trust Disney, as a corporation, at all when it comes the kind of issues Glaser is talking about.
Disney’s spokespeople have already responded, telling Variety, “It’s unfortunate that Victoria is sharing a narrative that leaves out several key factors concerning her departure, including an indisputable breach of contract and a direct violation of company policy.”
The Los Angeles Times also noted that this firing comes shortly after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s critical and fan backlash, with some suspecting Disney of finding a scapegoat for the string of Marvel disappointments, which I wouldn’t put it past them to do.
This is far from the first time Disney has screwed over a longtime female employee. After the simultaneous release of Black Widow cut into Scarlett Johansson’s royalties, Disney dared to call her greedy for wanting her fair share of the profits from her own movie. They eventually settled out of court, with Johansson working an upcoming Marvel project.
Disney had been slated to publish Alonso’s upcoming memoir, but that feels unlikely to go forward. I doubt she’ll have difficulty finding a new platform/job with her resume, but whether the split was over an issue of contract or politics, Alonso deserved much more respect, and I can’t wait to see what work she has planned now that the Mickey Mouse gloves are off.
(featured image: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images )
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