When one of the key figures behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe was fired seemingly out of the blue, you had a sense it was going to get much more complex. And now, it has.
Last week, Victoria Alonso, who has produced every single Marvel Studios movie alongside Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito, was fired from the company. At the time,no reason was given for the exit but later in the week, a few things came to light.
It began Friday when The Hollywood Reporter released a piece claiming Alonso was fired because she breached her contract by producing Argentina, 1985, a movie distributed by Amazon which was nominated for the Best International Feature Oscar. Alonso not only produced it, but used her name and status to promote it, and, according to the trade, working with a competing company and project was a key factor behind her firing.
However, later that day Alonso’s lawyer Patty Glaser, spoke to the Los Angeles Times and refuted those claims. “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 Times. “Victoria, a gay Latina who had the courage to criticize Disney, was silenced.”
Here’s where things get spicy though. Glaser added that Alonso “was terminated when she refused to do something she believed was reprehensible.” She did not explain further but added “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.”
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What could possibly be so “reprehensible?” Well, it is of note that Alonso was very outspoken when then-CEO of Disney Bob Chapek didn’t respond strongly enough to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It’s unclear if there’s any correlation related but Glaser mentioned it and it illustrates that Alonso was not afraid to speak out against her bosses.
Raising the stakes even further, a Disney spokesperson fired back at Glaser’s claims. “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 spokesperson told the Time. “We will continue to wish her the best for the future and thank her for her numerous contributions to the studio.”
So what’s next, what happened, and what forum could Alonso speak out in? Later this year, she has a memoir coming out called Possibility Is Your Superpower, which will tell her story of growing up in Argentina all the way to being one of the foremost architects of one of the largest brands in Hollywood. That could be one. Or, maybe, this hits the courts and things come out there. Whatever happens, this story has all the makings of another interconnected saga Alonso was at the center of.
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