Victoria Alonso’s work as a producer of the Oscar-nominated feature film “Argentina, 1985” is being cited as the reason to fire the longtime Marvel Studios executive, according to three sources with knowledge of Alonso’s exit. Alonso’s attorney, however, pushed back on that justification — calling it “absolutely ridiculous.”
In a statement to Variety, attorney Patty Glaser, who is representing Alonso in her departure from Disney, instead claims that the executive was “silenced” by Disney, and that she had the studio’s “blessing” to work on “Argentina, 1985.”
At issue, according to the sources, was Alonso’s 2018 employment contract with Disney that prohibited her from working on projects for any rival studios. “Argentina, 1985” — which tracks the real-life trials of the country’s final dictatorship — was produced in part by Amazon Studios, which released the film on Prime Video in October.
Alonso, who was born and raised in Argentina, did not alert Disney to her work on “Argentina, 1985” in advance, sources say. Her years of service with Marvel, however, afforded Alonso enough clout that the studio grandfathered her moonlighting into a new employment agreement that Alonso signed last year, according to these sources, which explicitly forbade the executive from working any further outside of Marvel — including any extracurricular promotion. While projects at outside distributors are uncommon for an executive of Alonso’s stature, they are not unheard of.
After “Argentina, 1985” was selected by the eponymous nation as its official submission for the Academy Awards, however, Alonso hit the awards season circuit to help bring the film to its eventual Oscar nomination for international film. Alonso was reminded repeatedly in writing that she was in violation of her contract, these sources say, but she forged ahead anyway, walking the press line at the Oscars with “Argentina, 1985” director Santiago Mitre, rather than as one of the executive producers of multiple nominee “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Just eight days later, Alonso was fired for breach of contract and violation of Disney’s standards of business conduct.
“The idea that Disney both knew and approved her ability to work on [“Argentina, 1985″], then ostensibly say they have cause to fire her over an interview or two in support of that film, seems crazy,” said one former Disney film executive told Variety on the condition of anonymity.
“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,” Glaser says. “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.”
A source close to the matter also says that following Alonso’s remarks at the 2022 GLAAD awards, in which she called out then-CEO Bob Chapek by name for his reaction to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, she was told she could no longer do press for Marvel projects.
In a statement sent to Variety after this story had published, a Disney spokesperson called the comments by Glaser “unfortunate.”
“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,” says the spokesperson. “We will continue to wish her the best for the future and thank her for her numerous contributions to the studio.”
It appears Alonso’s work on “Argentina, 1985” was a culminating event for the executive’s tenure at Marvel, which had become increasingly fraught due to well–publicized criticisms of the studio’s approach to visual effects, one of the departments Alonso oversaw. Marvel’s most recent release, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” suffered withering criticism of its visual effects, and the film is one of the lowest grossing Marvel Studios films in the company’s history.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported that Alonso’s exit was tied to her work on “Argentina, 1985.”
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include the statement from Alonso’s attorney, and reporting about the executive’s speech at the GLAAD Awards.
UPDATE 2: This story has been updated to include a statement from a Disney spokesperson.