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Disney settles with former exec fired for refusing to make “reprehensible” anti-LGBTQ+ edit to film

Victoria Alonso
Victoria Alonso on June 23, 2022 Photo: Shutterstock

Disney has reportedly settled with longtime Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso whose firing last month shocked the entertainment industry.

Deadline first reported the multimillion-dollar compensation deal between Alonso and the entertainment giant.

Alonso served as the Marvel Studios’ former President of Physical, Post-Production, VFX, and Animation and had been a leading force behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe dating back to 2008’s Iron Man. She’s been described as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige’s “primary right hand” in bringing the massively successful comic book franchise to the screen.

But in March, she was abruptly fired by Disney. The company claimed at the time that Alonso’s ouster was due to her work producing the Oscar-nominated Argentina, 1985 for Amazon Studios, which Disney said represented a violation of prohibitions in her contract against working on and promoting projects at other studios.

Alonso, who was born and raised in Argentina and is openly gay, also spoke out against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay Law” in 2022. She was critical of Disney’s initial response to the anti-LGBTQ+ legislation which bans discussion of LGBTQ+ topics in grades K-3 and severely restricts it in grades 4­-12. At the 2022 GLAAD Media Awards, she called out Disney’s then-CEO Bob Chapek by name.

Shortly after making that statement, Alonso was reportedly told she would no longer be allowed to do press for Marvel projects.

“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,” Alonso’s attorney Patty Glaser said in a statement last month. “Victoria, a gay Latina who had the courage to criticize Disney, was silenced. Then she was terminated when she refused to do something she believed was reprehensible.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alonso refused a request from Disney to blur a shop window in Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania that showed rainbow decorations and the word “Pride” for the film’s release in Kuwait. Marvel Studios ultimately used an outside vendor to make the changes.

Recent Disney films that included LGBTQ+ content have been either censored or banned outright in Middle Eastern countries where homosexuality is outlawed. In 2021, Marvel’s Eternals was banned in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait due to a same-sex kiss featured in the film. Last summer, Pixar’s Toy Story spinoff Lightyear, which included a brief same-sex kiss, was banned in multiple countries. THR reports that Marvel also removed a moment of chaste affection between two women in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for the film’s release in Kuwait. Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Disney’s 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and 2020’s West Side Story were also banned in countries with anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

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