Updated with statement from Victoria Alonso’s attorney: Victoria Alonso’s surprise firing from Disney and Marvel Studios last week was tied in part to a breach of agreement involving her work as a producer on the Oscar-nominated international feature “Argentina, 1985,” IndieWire has learned.
The former Marvel executive’s involvement on “Argentina, 1985,” which was distributed by Amazon Studios and on which she was one of eight producers, amounted to a violation of company terms she signed in 2018 stating that Disney employees would not work with competing studios, insiders told IndieWire. And as THR first reported, Alonso was given numerous warnings, including after Alonso appeared at the Oscars, not on behalf of Disney and Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” but alongside the director of “Argentina, 1985,” Santiago Mitre.
An insider told IndieWire that Alonso did not seek permission from Disney to work on “Argentina, 1985,” though IndieWire recently reported otherwise, that “producer Axel Kuschevatzky persuaded Alonso to get permission from Disney and Marvel to help him to produce.” The source claimed that Alonso never received permission, and that her continuing participation in other appearances and press interviews on behalf of “Argentina, 1985” fractured her relationship with the studio.
However, Alonso’s lawyer Patricia Glaser in a statement to IndieWire (and first obtained by Variety) on Friday said that Alonso did get Disney’s blessing to work on and promote “Argentina, 1985,” claiming her client was being “silenced” by the studio.
“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 Variety. “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. 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.”
Disney had no comment.
Alonso, who has been with the studio since 2006 and co-produced the first “Iron Man,” was elevated to her role in 2021 and became a fixture alongside Marvel chief Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D’Esposito. But her promotion came at a time when Marvel was in the midst of a massive production swell, with the studio ramping up production from just three movies per year up through 2019 and Phase 3 of the MCU to producing seven films and eight Disney+ series since then.
As a result, Marvel’s VFX and post-production work — with Alonso serving as president of physical and postproduction, visual effects and animation production — came under increased scrutiny and criticism, particularly with the critically maligned “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and its visual effects. VFX sources who recently spoke to IndieWire said they became embarrassed by the quality of the work they produced under the Marvel banner, and one source additionally said that Alonso may have spread herself too thin promoting her other film at a time when the studio was facing criticism.
“Argentina, 1985” premiered in September at the Venice International Film Festival and was nominated for Best International Feature at this year’s Oscars. While the Argentinian-born Alonso participated in press on behalf of that film, she was absent on the press tour for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which features a Latino character in the lead villain role.
Alonso, who is also gay, recently attained more prominence in the public sphere in part because of her advocacy for Marvel’s representation efforts. Amid the backlash that followed Disney’s handling of Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill in 2022, Alonso criticized Disney and particularly then-CEO Bob Chapek in a speech at the GLAAD Media Awards.
“I asked him to look around and truly if what we sell is entertainment for the family, we don’t choose what family. Family is this entire room. Family is the family in Texas, in Arizona, in Florida, and in my family, in my home. 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 last April. “Take a stand for family. Stop saying that you tolerate us—nobody tolerates me, let me tell you that. You tolerate the heat in Florida, the humidity in Arizona or Florida, and the dryness in Arizona and Texas. And you tolerate a tantrum in a two-year-old. But you don’t tolerate us. We deserve the right to live, love, and have. More importantly, we deserve an origin story.”