Former Marvel VFX And Animation Boss Victoria Alonso Was Dismissed For Breach Of Contract
According to recent reports, Marvel vfx and animation boss Victoria Alonso’s dismissal from the Disney-owned outfit was a result of her involvement with the Oscar-nominated Argentine film Argentina, 1985.
Background: Alonso, the executive once in charge of animation and vfx for Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), was dismissed by the studio on Friday, March 17. That news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter (THR). Alonso’s departure was unexpected and came as a shock to most of the vfx industry and many MCU workers.
What new information is available now? While rumor and speculation listed any number of reasons for Alonso’s dismissal at first, it was later clarified that she was let for a breach of contract. According to Disney, Alonso’s 2018 contract with the company prohibited her from working on projects at any rival studios. However, Alonso went on to produce last year’s Argentine Oscar-nominated film Argentina, 1985 along with Amazon Studios, which released the film on Prime Video in October. According to a THR article, Alonso didn’t let Disney know she was involved with that project before boarding it, but Disney gave her a pass due to her years of productive and profitable work with the MCU. When Alonso signed a new agreement in 2022, stricter language was added that forbade the executive from doing any further work outside of the studio, including promotion.
What did Alonso do wrong? If Disney’s side of the story is accurate, her involvement in the awards campaign for Argentina, 1985 violated the language in Alonso’s new contract. Sources at Marvel have said that Alonso was sent several written reminders that her actions violated the new contract, but she continued to promote the film’s awards campaign anyway. At the Oscars, Alonso walked the red carpet with Argentina, 1985 director Santiago Mitre rather than with the team representing Marvel’s Oscar-nominated feature Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Extenuating circumstances: There are conflicting reports about the fallout following Alonso’s involvement at the 2022 GLAAD Media Awards when she criticized then-CEO Bob Chapek’s fumbled handling of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. Alonso called out her boss saying, “So I ask you again Mr. Chapek: please respect—if we’re selling family—take a stand against all of these crazy outdated laws.” Some sources say that irked higher-ups at Disney, while others claim that her statement only served to increase her status within the company.
What’s Alonso’s side saying? Alonso’s attorney Patty Glaser argued:
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. 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. 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.
Has Disney responded? In a statement provided to Variety, a Disney spokesperson said:
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. We will continue to wish her the best for the future and thank her for her numerous contributions to the studio.
Pictured at top: Victoria Alonso, Argentina, 1985