One month after she was unceremoniously fired, Victoria Alonso, the ousted Marvel executive, has settled with Disney in her wrongful termination suit. Deadline reports she received a “multi-million dollar” settlement. No one expected this to go to court, as with Scarlett Johansson, it does not behoove Disney to have contractual details entered onto the public record where other lawyers can see them and use them in their own negotiations. It also gets this mess out of the news before the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which Marvel is hoping will reset their table after the ups and increasing downs of the last few years.
I still have a lot of questions about why Alonso was fired, and with so little class, given her long tenure with Marvel. People will insist on pointing to the rumors about her being a bad boss, but it’s curious that over the last month, that never really took hold as the key to her dismissal. Again, I don’t want to ignore the possibility she was not always a delight to work for, especially given the added pressure of the VFX crunch from the last few years, but the reports of her toxicity have always smacked of misogyny. And ultimately, that was never a consideration in her firing, Disney cited breach of contract. I know this was never going to trial, but damn, I really wanted to hear the Disney lawyers explain why Alonso producing Argentina 1985 was a conflict of interest but Kevin Feige (potentially) producing a Star Wars movie isn’t.
(And before you get all, He probably got permission to do a Star War, that’s my point. Studios make exceptions for non-compete agreements all the time, funny how Argentina 1985 only became a dealbreaker AFTER Marvel had an unprecedented run of bad press and they needed to change the narrative.)
What we watch now is 1) who replaces Alonso at Marvel, and 2) where Alonso lands next. She was one of the few high-profile women working in physical production and visual effects in the industry, and it will be interesting to see if that legacy is honored or not. And while an exec like Alonso landing softly somewhere else should be a no-brainer, the rumors of her being a toxic boss complicates things. I selfishly hope she gets another gig in VFX, though, so that we can gauge whether or not those stories about her bad bossing continue or not.
Anyway, just like the ScarJo lawsuit, this is a disappointingly anti-climactic resolution to Marvel-Disney drama. Not that this is the only drama surrounding Marvel these days, even if just by association. More on that next week.
Live long and gossip,