Victoria Alonso, an Emmy and Oscar nominated executive producer, has been terminated by Marvel Studios and Disney after over a decade of service. Alonso, an out lesbian, has worked as a producer on almost every single MCU movie created in the last 15 years. And it appears that her dedication to the LGBT community greatly impacted studio heads to vacate her contract.
On Friday, March 24, Victoria was fired by Disney for “breach of contract,” with her former employer citing her work on true-story military-drama Argentina 1985 as the culprit. Argentina 1985 is Victoria’s only non-Marvel backed picture since 2002. However, it has come to light that the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever executive producer may have lost her job due to her outspoken opinion against Florida’s Don’t Say Gay Bill and for refusing to remove LGBT friendly imagery from Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
Alonso’s attorney, Patty Glaser, released the following statement:
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 matter at heart is fueled mostly by Kuwait’s anti-gay climate. In Kuwait, it’s legal to persecute those who belong to the LGBT community for loving each-other openly. Gay people are currently unable to marry, adopt or serve in the military. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene in its opening and closing moments where Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) walks through a busy city. During his travels, he passes by a queer bookstore with pride memorabilia hanging in the window.
See if you can spot the “disturbing imagery” in the first 2 seconds of the Ant-Man 3 trailer below.
Kuwait requested that the bookstore be blurred or removed from Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. This is not the first time the country has asked to censor a Marvel movie for release in their territory. The lesbian romance between Aneka (played by Michaela Coel) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba) was removed from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. As well, the relationship between Phastos (played by Brian Tyree Henry) and Ben (played by Haaz Sleiman) was removed from The Eternals for release in Saudi Arabia.
Other revisions to Ant-Man 3 include changing references or depictions of alcohol and removing MODOK’s (played by Corey Stoll) animated booty cheeks.
When Victoria Alonso heard about removing the queer storefront, she stood by her morals and declined to incorporate the change into the release in Kuwait. However, Marvel and Disney executives went over her head and hired an outside company to make the revisions.
Now, it should be noted that the film industry is a business and Marvel makes billions of dollars a year. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania held the #1 spot at the box office for two weeks when it was released in February 2023. Although it is the second bestselling entry in the Ant Man series, it was the weakest showing overseas. Domestically Ant-Man 3 grossed $210,000,000 with an estimated $259,000,000 made overseas. When you’re contractually obligated to do what your employer tells you to do, unfortunately you risk losing your job when you are insubordinate.
Marvel released this statement shortly after Alonso’s termination:
In countries where we operate, we seek to share our stories in their original form as we and the artists involved have created them. If we make edits because of legal or other considerations, they will be as narrow as possible. We will not make an edit where we believe it would impact the storytelling. In that circumstance, we will not distribute the content in that market.
Instead of blaming Victoria for the consequences of her actions, I instead turn my sights to Marvel and Disney. Including LGBT representation in their media is important, especially when it’s depicted in major box office movies. However, it’s not enough to just recreate them as a moot point that can easily be erased from the overall narrative. If you create a gay character, let them exist in every version of the tale. Gay people exist. They don’t disappear just because they’re in a foreign country. Stand on your morals. Stand on the characters that you yourself created and depicted.
I don’t think Victoria Alonso will struggle to find work based on her incredibly successful resume. But I do believe comic book and MCU fans will struggle to support The Mighty House following this development.
1 thought on “A Little Sign Caused A Multi-Million Dollar Ruckus”
Western movie studios have to stop capitulating to the demands of despotic regimes around the world. F them.
With enough instances of depriving citizens of things they want, they will eventually revolt. (No, I’m not predicting that not seeing a Marvel/Disney – or any movie – will cause a revolution, but each one that is banned will be another proverbial straw on the camel’s back.
Stop letting the fascists dictate our collective culture!