Marvel Studios president Victoria Alonso claims that the film studio’s embrace of social justice is “not a political game for us,” but rather “100 per cent a responsibility” for the Disney-owned company.
In a November 13 speech at the Outfest Legacy Awards, Alonso delivered her remarks on Marvel Studios’ support for diversity and inclusion in its productions.
“We have tried to stir it up and sometimes the critics are not with us, that’s OK. That’s OK,” she said, Variety reported.
“We thank you for being a critic,” she added. “We thank you for writing about us. And the fans will decide. Diversity and inclusion is not a political game for us. It is 100 per cent a responsibility because you don’t get to have the global success that we have given the Walt Disney Company without the support of people around the world of every kind of human there is.”
Alonso’s speech came in the wake of the release of Marvel’s Eternals, which features a diverse cast of actors, and the first gay superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I want to do it all,” Alonso said. “I want to make sure that I get out there and I create as much change as time will allow.”
While accepting the award, Alonso pointed over to fellow honouree transgender actor Rain Valdez and stated, “I see you. You’re not alone.”
Alonso’s virtue signal is nothing short of condescending, having tokenized Valdez’s gender identity.
“I perhaps have not 100 per cent done right by you,” Alonso apologized. “But I can assure you for as long as I am at Marvel Studios, I will do right by you. One of the greatest gifts that we can give each other is in the belonging, is knowing that you do belong. Don’t walk in thinking you don’t belong.”
Taking the microphone, Valdez, who was recognized with the Trailblazer Award at the ceremony stated, “I do believe that it’s not too late for Hollywood to change its legacy on trans stories.”
“A new Hollywood is emerging. I see it in my acting classes, I feel it on sets. With Outfest, we are birthing a new system, an equity-centered playing field,” Valdez said.
Film distributor Neon, which received the Guardian Award, was represented by CEO Tom Quinn. Quinn used the podium to thank the audience and take a swipe at Dave Chappelle over his recent controversy with the release of The Closer on Netflix.
“FYI, for those people somewhere in L.A., who didn’t get the memo,” Quinn said. “Black trans lives are not a joke.”
Outfest is an LGBT-oriented film festival that promotes and publicizes visibility for LGBT creators and actors in Hollywood and in the indie space.