The saga of Victoria Alonso and her sudden dismissal from Marvel Studios is fast becoming Hollywood’s next big legal battle. On Friday, a report from THR indicated that Alonso was fired from Disney Studios for producing Argentina, 1985, an Amazon Studios-backed historical drama. Allegedly, this was a breach of contract by Alonso, which barred her from working for a rival studio. However, Alonso’s new lawyer is already firing back at the house of the mouse.
Alonso has hired Patty Glaser, a partner at the law firm Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP, by deadline. If Glaser’s name sounds familiar, it may be because she’s already suing Lucasfilm and Disney on behalf of Karyn McCarthy over her dismissal from The Acolyte. And in her first testimony as Alonso’s representative, Glaser came out with a bang.
“The idea that Victoria was fired for a handful of press interviews related to a personal passion project about human rights and democracy that was nominated for an Oscar and that she got to work on with Disney’s blessing is absolutely ridiculous,” Glaser said. “Victoria, a gay Latina who dared to criticize Disney, was silenced. Then she was fired when she refused to do something she thought was reprehensible.”
“Disney and Marvel made a really bad decision that will have dire consequences,” Glaser added. “There’s a lot more to this story and Victoria will be sharing it shortly – in one forum or another.”
Disney did not leave this statement unanswered. A company representative sent the following response to Deadline.
“It is unfortunate that Victoria shares a narrative that omits several key factors relating to her departure, including an undeniable breach of contract and a direct breach of company policy. We wish her all the best for the future and thank her for her many contributions to the studio.”
The story goes on
Deadline’s report also added additional context to Glaser’s remarks. The report reiterates that Alonso did not originally ask permission to work on Argentina, 1985. Separately, Disney reportedly changed her contract to allow it “out of respect for her years with the company.” However, Alonso was not supposed to promote the film. And when she continued doing that, the company fired her. The report also claims that Alonso took personal days to devote to Argentina 1985, putting aside her work as Marvel’s president of physical and post-production, VFX and animation production.
Additionally, Deadline’s story indicates that “Alonso was benched by executives and told she could no longer do any interviews or media whatsoever” after prompting Disney to speak at a GLAAD event in the April 2022 to oppose Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. When Disney finally opposed the law, Florida Republicans (including Gov. Ron DeSantis) retaliated by stripping Walt Disney World of its self-governing status; which could have cost the company millions.
It’s unclear which Disney executive clashed with Alonso, as noted in Glaser’s “reprehensible” statement. However, Deadline states that it wasn’t Bob Iger.
There are two likely outcomes for the Alonso-Disney/Marvel litigation. Either the sides will reach an agreement (like Scarlet Johansson and Disney did in the Black Widow case) or they could go to court. Meanwhile, Disney’s publishing division will publish Alonso’s memoir, Possibility Is Your Superpower, later this year.
What do you think of the latest developments in this story? Let us know in the comment section below!
Credit: Phillip Faraone/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images
Suggested reading: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story
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