Disney has come under heavy criticism for firing Victoria Alonso, the former president of physical, post-production, visual effects, and animation at Marvel Studios. Most of that criticism has come from Alonso herself. We recently reported that the fired executive retained attorney Patty Glaser to sue for wrongful termination. Disney, however, claims they were well within their rights.
The dispute has come down to a ‘he said/she said’ situation where Alonso is claiming she was fired for one reason, and Disney claims she was fired for another. Disney maintains that she was let go due to a breach of contract by working with a competing studio (She recently collaborated with Amazon to produce Argentina, 1985).
Alonso, however, has released a statement through her attorney that presents an entirely different story:
“…. 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.”
At the time of our initial report we did not yet know what reprehensible act Alonso had been asked (and refused) to do, but now it has come to light. Glaser told the media that “Victoria, a gay Latina who had the courage to criticize Disney, was terminated when she refused to do something she believed was reprehensible.” The reprehensible act? The studio wanted her to edit out Pride and rainbow flags in a background window for the Kuwait release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Kuwait has strict anti-LGBT laws, and even showing the Pride flag in the window would’ve violated the law (and prevented the film’s release). Alonso felt the images should stay and refused to remove them. This is what she and her attorney assert is the real reason she was fired.
Alonso was a leading voice against former CEO Bob Chapek when he refused to take a stance on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act (called “the don’t say gay bill by critics). She very firmly stood for her belief that Disney should adamantly (and publicly) oppose the legislation and was influential to the backlash that led to the company doing a 180 on their silence.
Disney has not responded to the accusation levied by Alonso and her attorney. It isn’t expected that they will, as it is not their policy to speak out regarding ongoing legal battles. Who is telling the truth about the ousting of Victoria Alonso? That will have to be for the courts to determine.