Ant-Man 3: Marvel Removed Gay Imagery to Avoid Ban (Report)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania poster, Marvel Studios logo

A report exploring the behind-the-scenes drama behind Victoria Alonso's untimely exit from Marvel Studios has revealed that Disney chose to remove gay imagery from Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania ahead of its theatrical debut to avoid a ban.

Recently, the entertainment industry as a whole was shocked when long-time Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso was abruptly fired from her high-level position after 17 years.

The Hollywood Reporter shared how they heard that Alonso's producing work on Argentina, 1985, for an outside studio, was a key factor behind the decision to fire her.

Alonso's attorney refuted that claim, however. Through, Variety, she claimed that the notion of it being related to Argentina, 1985 was "absolutely ridiculous." 

She added that Marvel Studios and Disney have made a "really poor decision that will have serious consequences."

Now, even more information on the messy situation has come to light.

Marvel Removed Gay Imagery from Ant-Man

Ant-Man Quanutmania, Scott Lang walking and smiling
Marvel Studios

A new report from The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has revealed that Marvel Studios removed gay imagery from Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania for its release in Kuwait.

The new tidbit came about in reference to the recent firing of Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso.

In a previous statement from Alonso's attorney, Patty Glaser, she stated that Alonso was "terminated" when she "critize[d] Disney" and "refused to do something she believed was reprehensible."

“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.”

THR noted that insiders believe this "reprehensible" act was a request by Kuwait to censor gay Pride references in Quantumania.

The situation occurred in January when Marvel executives went to an editor to blur out a storefront window that featured the word "Pride" and rainbow decorations. This set piece made it into two brief scenes with Paul Rudd's Scott Lang on a San Francisco street.

Alonso, who oversaw visual effects and post-production at Marvel Studios, and is gay herself, refused to have her team make the edit. Marvel then went to an outside vendor to get the changes done.

Kuwait also had other changes made to the final film, including the removal of several references to alcohol and even the animated butt cheeks of the character MODOK.

Kuwait Terrified By Gay Rainbows

With how long Alonso worked at Marvel Studios, it's hard to believe that this one instance with Kuwait is the key reason she was fired. One would think if it was, then Disney would have made the choice back when she spoke out directly against then-CEO Bob Chapek.

The situation is obviously messy, and many things would have to happen to get where it is today. There are likely key points on both sides that have yet to be revealed.

As for the big Quantumania ask by Disney, many fans are undoubtedly disappointed to hear that the studio caved into such witless demands. 

Marvel Studios survived a handful of projects being banned in China (a massive source of box office success), so what's one relatively minor country?

Most recently, Kuwait also demanded changes in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The reasoning, which included removing a kiss on the forehead between Aneka and Ayo, is just as silly as their demands for Ant-Man 3.

It's certainly hard to believe in someone being scared by rainbows on doors.

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is currently playing in theaters worldwide.

Release Date
February 17, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.