Disney Faces Serious Consequences Over Firing Marvel Executive
Disney fired Victoria Alonso, one of the original executives behind the MCU, and now she's suing the company for wrongful termination with a Hollywood heavyweight attorney in her corner.
Disney fired Oscar-nominated producer Victoria Alonso earlier this week, and now she alleges that she was fired for her advocacy of LGBTQ+ rights, which included publicly challenging then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek‘s handling of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill — more commonly known as the “Don’t say gay” law. According to Deadline, Marvel’s longtime VFX producer has hired heavyweight Hollywood lawyer Patty Glaser to handle the case. Glaser is perhaps best known for helping disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein sue his own company after being fired for the sexual misconduct claims that eventually led to his imprisonment.
Disney executives reportedly forced Alonso to stop talking to the press after calling on Disney to publicly oppose the bill when accepting an award from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in 2022. In a statement, Alonso’s lawyer says that she was eventually fired by Disney for not doing “something she believed was reprehensible.” The exact reason Disney supposedly fired her was not made clear, but Glaser says that Victoria will soon publicly reveal the reason for her firing — either in a lawsuit or through some other public forum.
Of course, Victoria Alonso’s side isn’t the only side of the story, and Disney will undoubtedly have its fair share to say about Alonso when and if the lawsuit goes to trial. Disney claims that her firing is related to her involvement in (and promotion of) the non-Disney historical drama Argentina, 1985 — even though she had an agreement with Disney that she would not be involved in external projects. Alonso claims that she had Disney’s blessing for the project, and currently, there’s no way to know who’s telling the truth.
Regardless of the real reason for her firing, employees at Disney might be breathing a sigh of relief at her departure. Rumblings from within the VFX community reportedly say that Alonso has created a toxic work environment at Marvel studios. The claims say that she kept artists on her team in constant fear of angering her because she held the power to blacklist artists from the industry.
On top of the reported issues with the work environment, Marvel VFX artists also were reportedly unsatisfied with the quality of work they were producing under Alonso. The sheer number of films the artists had to work on at high speed was reportedly responsible for the slipping VFX quality in Marvel films such as Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. While Disney is unlikely to bring this fact up when fighting the lawsuit (doing so would mean admitting problems with their recent films), there’s a chance that it was part of their reasoning for the firing.
Before getting fired, Victoria Alonso had been with the MCU since its first film — Iron Man, which came out 15 years ago. When it was originally reported that she was parting ways with the company, it seemed (on the surface, at least), that it was an amicable departure. Now that Disney has been served with this very public lawsuit, those initial reports seem false.