Marvel Studios courted some controversy earlier this year with the firing of Victoria Alonso, a former president of animation at the company. Her exit was purportedly due to breaking a noncompete clause on an Amazon production, but a new book on the MCU states she’d caused issues with Kevin Feige.
Over the years, the MCU has become a juggernaut. Watching the Marvel movies in order, you can really see more cohesion and forward-planning coming into production. Nowadays, we have a slew of Marvel series as well. It’s a well-oiled machine that doesn’t leave much room for disruption.
Alonso worked on the franchise from the get-go, serving as co-producer on Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America before transitioning to an executive producer from The Avengers onwards. She was a major component of what built the whole venture, but there was some friction in terms of what she wanted to achieve versus corporate interests.
Her exit was hallmarked by comments she made in 2022 towards then Disney CEO Bob Chapek about LGBTQIA+ support in the wake of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. “Mr Chapek: please respect – if we’re selling family – take a stand against all of these crazy outdated laws,” she said as part of an impassioned speech at the GLAAD Media Awards per Deadline. “Take a stand for family.”
In the book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards, it’s reported that these comments led to friction between Alonso and Feige. The book states: “Alonso had broken one of Feige’s cardinal rules: don’t speak out publicly against the company.” Anonymous sources tell the authors that Feige had suggested that Alonso had “outgrown” her position at Marvel and that she should “keep her head down” and “do the work.”
At the time, Variety reported Alonso was removed from doing press junkets related to Marvel releases. She was then formally ousted in March 2023. Legal proceedings followed, which led to a multi-million dollar settlement in April.
Feige has kept the MCU rolling steadily for almost two decades now. As we push through Marvel Phase 5, the franchise seems to be in a transitionary period as it figures out what the next generation looks like. A recent report on the Disney Plus Marvel shows suggested there were quite a few issues on the television side, particularly in regards to the Daredevil season 4 release date.
That all said, the situation with Alonso doesn’t reflect well on Marvel or Disney, suggesting that any dissension can be troublesome for those speaking out. Certainly, Feige likely knows a thing or three about surviving in Hollywood, but there’s a suggestion here that those principles can come at some cost.