Ex-Marvel Boss’ Progressive Views Led to Her Disney Firing, New Report Claims

in Entertainment, Marvel

Victoria Alonso at the 'Thor: Love and Thunder' red carpet premiere

Credit: Marvel Studios

There’s no ignoring the fact that Marvel Studios has made headlines for all the wrong reasons recently following a slew of less-than-impressive Disney+ entries, SAG-AFTRA strike-related delays, and behind-the-scenes drama involving higher-ups at both the superhero studio and its parent company, Disney.

And now, a bombshell new book that details the rise of Marvel Studios is only making things worse for the once-thriving brand by exposing the petty conflict between current president Kevin Feige and now-fired executive Victoria Alonso, which involves former Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek.

Kevin Feige
Source: Marvel Studios

Related: Highly-Anticipated Marvel Movie’s Release Set To Be Scrapped

Marvel Studios’ Recent Woes, Explained

It seems like Marvel can’t catch a break these days, with the studio struggling to recapture a fragment of the glory of its Infinity Saga days. But now that the company has said goodbye to iconic MCU alums like Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow, and Chris Evans’ Captain America, it’s safe to say Marvel is going through a bit of a crisis.

The Avengers gathered together on the promotional poster of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Disney in Chaos: Fans Call for Feige To Go

Phase Four, while not without its gems, is generally remembered as a trial-and-error period for the MCU, with film and TV installments like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Eternals (2021), She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and Taika Waititi’s disastrous Thor: Love and Thunder largely missing the mark with audiences.

Still, the company was wise enough to bring back heavy hitters like Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief for the Disney+ Loki spinoff, which is currently two episodes into its sophomore season. WandaVision also scored Marvel three Emmy awards, while Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther (2018) sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), generally appeased fans with its fitting tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman.

Nakia, Shuri, and Okoye (left to right) in Black Panther Wakanda Forever promo poster marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

As for Phase Five, things have never felt more uncertain for Marvel Studios. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) proved disastrous for the studio, failing to break even on its production budget of $200 million and its marketing spend of at least $100 million, losing a frankly, incomprehensible amount of money at the box office.

Its Disney+ slate hasn’t exactly wowed audiences as well, with the Samuel L. Jackson-fronted Secret Invasion earning the unfortunate title of worst-rated MCU show in franchise history. And now, upcoming titles like Blade (2025) and Charlie Cox’s long-awaited return in Daredevil: Born Again, are at risk of fading into obscurity, with the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike bringing Hollywood to a complete stop.

sag-strike
Credit: Variety

Even Loki, which is generally regarded as the best Marvel series to come out of Disney+, found itself in hot water after Kang the Conqueror actor Jonathan Majors was arrested back in March for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. While Majors is currently standing trial and has yet to be proven guilty, many don’t have high hopes for his MCU future, with rumors of him being recast for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026) circulating online.

New Information Comes to Light About Former Marvel Studios Executive

But within Marvel’s ranks seems to be a different, internal conflict behind the scenes: one that led to a longtime executive cutting ties with the company after she spoke out about then-Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek.

bob chapek disney plus
Credit: Disney

Earlier this year, the superhero studio parted ways with one of its founding executives, Victoria Alonso, who had been at the company since 2005. Alonso last served as president of physical and post-production, visual effects, and animation production, having been promoted from executive vice president of production in September 2021.

Alonso was unexpectedly terminated from her role at Marvel Studios in March 2023, just two years after her promotion, which caught the attention of media outlets around the globe. While her longtime colleague, Kevin Feige, allegedly did not intervene in, nor was part of, the decision regarding her firing, many speculated that some crucial details were intentionally being left out of the picture, which may have finally come to light thanks to a new tell-all book about Marvel Studios’ history.

Victoria Alonso Marvel Films
Credit: IMDb

Penned by author Joanna Robinson, MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios hit shelves on October 10 and tells the whole story of the superhero studio. The book gives curious readers a peek inside the going-ons of one of the biggest entertainment hubs in the world and, notably, offers new details about Victoria Alonso’s conflicts with Kevin Feige.

According to the exposé, almost a year before her departure, Alonso had “broken one of Feige’s cardinal rules” after speaking publicly against former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who held the position from 2020 to 2022 before he was replaced by his predecessor, Bob Iger:

Alonso had broken one of Feige’s cardinal rules: don’t speak out publicly against the company.

bob chapek onstage
Credit: Disney

So, what drove Alonso to speak out against Chapek? Well, the former Marvel VP, who identifies as lesbian herself, spoke out against Chapek in April 2022 after he failed to condem Florida’s anti-LGBTQIA+ “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prevents the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms.

According to a report from Variety, the now-fired executive’s public comments against the ex-Disney boss led to some serious consequences, with the company punishing Alonso by no longer allowing her to participate in any Marvel-related press.

Kevin Feige at D23 Expo
Credit: D23

Things only got worse when tensions began to escalate between Alonso and Feige, with the Marvel Studios book adding how Feige told his colleague she had “outgrown her role” and pushed her to “‘keep her head down’ and ‘do the work:'”

A source close to the matter said that later that year Feige suggested to Alonso that she had outgrown her role at Marvel. He reportedly cautioned her to “keep her head down” and “do the work.”

Alonso’s political views also got her in trouble when she later “refused to act” on instruction to remove LGBTQIA+ symbols from Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania to allow for release in foreign markets like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Indonesia, and China — something which was later done under wraps without her knowledge:

In early 2023, Alonso refused to act on Marvel Studios’ request to remove LGBTQ pride symbols from Quantumania for foreign markets. The atmosphere at the studio was tense: the department of ‘yes’ had said ‘no.’ D’Esposito outsourced the VFX work anyway, an act Alonso regarded as a betrayal.

Paul Rudd as many Ant-Men in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania' Marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

Why Was Victoria Alonso Fired From Marvel Studios?

Surprisingly, none of these tiffs led to Alonso being given the pink slip. Instead, the former Marvel Studios boss’ termination came in March 2023 due to her producer work on the Oscar-nominated Argentina, 1985 (2023) at Disney’s rival studio, Amazon’s Prime Video, which marked a breach in her contract. 

After she received her termination notice, Alonso retained a lawyer for potential legal action after her firing, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement. Still, many people from the Marvel camp supported Disney’s decision to let her go. Following news of her termination, a Disney spokesperson fired back after Alonso issued a statement saying she was “blindsided” by her dismissal from the company, pointing out how she had committed an “indisputable breach of contract and a direct violation of company policy.”

Victoria Alonso Marvel Studios Films
Credit: IMDb

Since then, Alonso has been accused of being “singularly responsible for Marvel’s toxic work environment” toward VFX artists, which led to an undisputed drastic drop in quality for recent titles like She-Hulk and the Ant-Man threequel. The same report noted how she was “bigfooting all major creative decisions” at the studio, with even directors supposedly being stripped of their creative control.

So, given that Alonso broke one of Feige’s “cardinal rules,” it’s no wonder that the Marvel Studios president didn’t exactly rush to her defense and chose not to intervene in the firing of his 17-year MCU colleague, despite also not being involved in the decision.

Kevin Feige at D23
Credit: D23

For now, a new executive has yet to be appointed to replace Alonso. However, some leaks claim that Marvel intends to fill her expansive role with more than one person, which covers post-production, visual effects, and animation.

It’ll be interesting to see if Marvel Studios can move on from this particularly troubling era as it expands into its Multiverse Saga. However, early projections indicate that the company’s next theatrical release, The Marvels (2023), is on track to flop at the box office. With the MCU sorely in need of a win, hopefully, the company can make some meaningful changes in both its staff and its content — and soon.

Do you think it’s time for Marvel Studios to reshuffle their executive board? What do you think about Victoria Alonso “refusing to act” on removing LGBTQ+ symbols from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania? Let us know in the comments below.

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