Disney Fires Back at Ex-Marvel Studios President Following Termination Statement

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Avengers Marvel Studios

Victoria Alonso's lawyer Patty Glaser has broken the silence on her client's firing from her position as Marvel Studios President of Physical, Post Production, VFX, and Animation, leading to a response from Disney.

On Friday, March 17, Marvel Studios President of Physical, Post Production, VFX, and Animation Victoria Alonso was reportedly "blindsided" as she was fired from her position at the studio, having held an executive role there since 2005.

The Hollywood Reporter has since claimed Alonso was fired due to her producing role in Amazon's Oscar-nominated Argentina, 1985. Her work at a competing studio was said to be in violation of her Disney contract.

Alonso reportedly did not ask for permission to take on the project and ignored warnings this was in breach of her agreement before even going on to participate in the publicity and awards campaign anyway.

Victoria Alonso's Lawyer Breaks Silence on Marvel Studios Firing

Victoria Alonso at Shang-Chi Los Angeles World Premiere Red Carpet

Variety has shared comments from Alonso's lawyer Patty Glaser called the notion "absolutely ridiculous" that Disney fired their client over her work on "a personal passion project." They also claim Alonso was given "Disney's blessing" to produce Argentina, 1985:

“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 noted how Alsono, an Argentinian herself, was "silenced" and later terminated upon refusing to do something "she believed was reprehensible." It's unclear exactly what instruction this may be in reference to at this time:

“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."

The attorney called out Alonso's firing as a "really poor decision that will have serious consequences" before noting the fired executive will be "telling it shortly:"

"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.”

According to Deadline, Alonso retained Glaser's legal services after her firing, with the attorney's firm, Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP, having placed Disney on notice to indicate they may pursue legal action.

The firm in question entered into a separate lawsuit just weeks ago (March 8) over the termination of producer Karyn McCarthy from the upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series The Acolyte last year.

Responding to Glaser's comments after Variety's story was published, a Disney spokesperson claimed Alonso's narrative "leaves out several key factors concerning her departure," making particular reference to her alleged breach of contract and violation of company policy:

“It’s unfortunate that Victoria is sharing a narrative that leaves out several key factors concerning her departure, including an indisputable breach of contract and a direct violation of company policy,” says the spokesperson. “We will continue to wish her the best for the future and thank her for her numerous contributions to the studio.”

A source of Variety claimed the former Marvel Studios President was no longer allowed to participate in MCU press after her comments at the 2022 GLAAD awards in April 2022 saw her blast then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek for his response to Florida's divisive "Don't Say Gay" bill.

Deadline supported this claim, noting how the now-fired executive was asked to speak out regarding a Marvel movie late last year by a prominent director but ultimately stayed silent.

That being said, Alonso seemed to continue being involved in the press for Doctor Strange 2, Thor 4, Black Panther 2, and Ant-Man 3, having conducted interviews and appeared on the red carpet.

The so-called "reprehensible" incident occurred after that point, with Deadline stating it involved a disagreement with a Disney executive but not CEO Bob Iger who took over the position from Bob Chapek in November 2022.

The decision to fire Alonso was made by Disney Entertainment Co-Chairman Alan Bergman in consultation with the legal and human resources departments - Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige reportedly did not attempt to intervene.

Accusations have since spread of a toxic workplace culture at Marvel Studios, particularly with reference to VFX, which Alonso oversaw, with one report even claiming she was "singularly responsible" for the negative environment.

Why Victoria Alonso's Firing Remains Mysterious

In a termination case such as this, there will often be contradicting stores on the exact events that led to the eventual firing. Disney and Alonso both appear to be confirming the reports she was fired due to her work on Argentina, 1985 being a breach of her contract, but there seems to be more to the story.

Perhaps the biggest mystery surrounding Alonso's termination comes with the incident that occurred between the former Marvel Studios president and a Disney executive in which she was asked and refused to do something "reprehensible" and ultimately refused.

Additionally, Alonso seemingly received some backlash at Disney for her comments against then-CEO Bob Chapek, which may leave some wondering whether he may be the executive in question. With Alonso's lawyer promising she will be opening up more shortly, perhaps this story may be unraveled shortly.

What's perhaps most confusing in this whole story comes with Alonso's reported block from participating in Marvel Studios press after she spoke out against Chapek. Those comments were made in April 2022 and Alonso has continued to be involved in the press for every MCU movie to release since then.

Patty Glaser's description of Alonso's firing as a "really poor decision" and promising "serious consequences," one has to wonder whether the MCU co-found is lining up to take legal action against Disney. If that were to happen, far more details are likely to enter the public eye over time.

Still, Disney as a whole offered a rather courteous response to Alonso in wishing her the best while very much holding its ground on the decision.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.