Marvel's sudden termination of Victoria Alonso seems to be causing an internal civil war inside of the company.
When it comes to epic battles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most fans are captivated by the onscreen fights between good guys and bad guys. But the real drama in the MCU is usually what happens behind the scenes, especially because that has such a major effect on whether these films sink or swim. For example, Gizmodo reports that there are conflicting reasons why Marvel producer Victoria Alonso (who, like Kevin Feige, is a producer of every prior Marvel Studios movie) was fired, and Marvel suits seem to be fighting behind the scenes over this in a civil war of their own making.
When news first broke that Marvel let Victoria Alonso go, fans couldn’t help but wonder if there was some drama behind this shocking decision. Sure enough, drama popped up by the end of that week in the form of rumors that she was fired for producing Argentina, 1985, a movie that was later distributed by Amazon Studios. The film was nominated for a Best International Feature Oscar, and the story goes that Disney let Alonso go because she worked for a competing studio.
As you might imagine, this story of Marvel giving Victoria Alonso the boot for cause prompted an immediate reaction from her lawyer. The lawyer claims that she made the other movie with Disney’s blessing and that her getting penalized by the House of Mouse for producing a passion project film and giving a handful of press interviews is “ridiculous.” However, what she said next is what has fans everywhere freaking out and speculating like crazy.
According to the lawyer, veteran Marvel producer Victoria Alonso is “a gay Latina who had the courage to criticize Disney” but “was silenced.” Furthermore, the lawyer says that Alonso “was terminated when she refused to do something she believed was reprehensible.” The lawyer did not volunteer any more information about this alleged incident but ominously insisted that “Disney and Marvel made a really poor decision that will have serious consequences.”
For fans, all of this spilled tea has people picking sides between Marvel and Victoria Alonso (it’s like Iron Man fighting Captain America all over again). Some fans, for example, think that she got axed because she vocally opposed the previous’s CEO’s weak response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and this is a clear-cut case of Disney (who has famously agonized over introducing gay characters for fear of alienating Chinese audiences) coming down on someone who dared criticized them. Others think this is just a run-of-the-mill business dispute, especially because Disney insists they have evidence of an “indisputable breach of contract and a direct violation of company policy.”
Some cynical fans believe that while Marvel would like to brush all of these details under the carpet that it is actually Victoria Alonso gassing up the current controversy because she has a memoir coming out this year. Having a highly public fight with one of the largest brands on the planet while positioning herself as a little guy standing up against oppression is a great way to goose those book sales, even if that narrative may not be exactly true. Nonetheless, we have to ask Marvel: if you can just let people go like this, why not fire whoever has been underpaying CGI artists and ensuring that each new movie looks like an out-of-date screensaver?