When Disney suddenly fired Marvel Studios’ former VFX and postproduction head Victoria Alonso earlier this year, it was widely reported that the decision came down as a result of her violating company policy by working on and promoting another studio’s film without permission. It was also suggested that the middling response to some of Marvel’s recent VFX-heavy spectacles Alonso oversaw, like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, might have played a role in her dismissal. But in the latest turn of events, rather than letting a legal battle play out (publicly) in court, Marvel has agreed to settle with Alonso.
While the specific details of Disney’s settlement with Alonso haven’t been made public, Deadline reports it as being a multimillion-dollar amount. Neither Disney nor Alonso’s legal representation has made statements about the settlement itself, but in the weeks leading up to the agreement, both sides were vocal about what they believed led to Alonso’s dismissal.
Reports alleged that Alonso’s work as a producer on director Santiago Mitre’s film Argentina, 1985 — an Amazon Studios film — and her decision to promote the Oscar-nominated project throughout the 2022 / 2023 awards season were ultimately what led to her being canned. In response, Alonso’s legal reps from Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro pushed back on the idea that “Victoria was fired over a handful of press interviews” and insisted that their client, “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,” Alonso’s lawyers said at the time. “Disney and Marvel made a really poor decision that will have serious consequences.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the “reprehensible” something Alonso refused to do was to censor references to gay pride in Quantumania in order to appease movie distributors in Kuwait, where homosexuality is outlawed. Alonso, who represented Disney on GLAAD’s board, was also very open about her clashes with former CEO Bob Chapek over his reluctance to speak out about Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
In late March, Marvel accused Alonso of “sharing a narrative that leaves out several key factors concerning her departure” but said that it “will continue to wish her the best for the future.” Now, it appears that the studio will have to make good on those well wishes with a massive payout.