Disney Cuts Ties With Marvel’s Most Controversial Executive

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Disney, Marvel, Avengers

After years of controversy behind the scenes, Disney ended its ties with an executive who's caused a great deal of contention behind the scenes of the MCU.

Disney and Marvel Studios are in the midst of some major changes, some being unexpected but others in service of helping the MCU succeed again. This includes the disappointing situation that ended with former top Marvel executive Victoria Alonso being let go, although other top names are on the hot seat as well.

Recently, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige looked back to a time when he almost left Marvel for a position at DC due to frustrations with Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter over the latter's opposition to having diverse characters in the MCU.

One notable instance of Perlmutter's influence was on 2013's Iron Man 3, where he made the call to change the film's villain from Rebecca Hall's Maya Hansen to Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian. Perlmutter arrived at this decision on the idea that female villains wouldn't sell as much merchandise as a male villain would, which was only one of a long list of instances of his unfortunate biases.

Disney Ends Relationship with Top Executive

The New York Times revealed that the Walt Disney Company laid off Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter from his duties as Marvel Entertainment chairman in order to cut back on spending.

This move comes as Marvel Entertainment, a smaller, separate division from Marvel Studios that focuses on other products under the Marvel banner, was absorbed into other Disney units. 

Perlmutter's firing follows a series of layoffs spearheaded by Disney CEO Bob Iger, to achieve $5.5 billion in cost-cutting, all while Iger works to bring the company back to prominence after replacing his successor, Bob Chapek.

The controversial former Marvel executive recently backed the efforts of activist investor Nelson Peltz to join Disney's corporate board, which led to the latter's attempt at a proxy battle with the company.

Current president of Marvel Entertainment Dan Buckley will remain in his role amid the shakeup, now reporting solely to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

Perlmutter Era at Marvel & Disney Is Over

Ike Perlmutter's run at Disney and Marvel had been something of a stain on the franchise over the years, especially considering he almost fired Kevin Feige before the MCU's Phase 2 even came to a close. Looking at where Feige has gone in the time since that move didn't happen, the results have shown that Marvel unquestionably made the right decision.

While Perlmutter's firing seemed to be part of bigger changes, his footing at Marvel had become more uneasy over the last few years with the moves he was attempting to make behind the scenes.

This may not be the last change Marvel makes in order to get the MCU back on track throughout the Multiverse Saga, but having Perlmutter out of the picture will only help re-establish the values Marvel and Disney hold.

And with fans' expectations of the MCU continually rising after a disappointing start to the franchise's newest slate, the studio is doing everything in its power to regain the standard and quality seen in years past.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.