Marvel Studios Executive Vice President of Physical Production Victoria Alonso has been a driving force in the studio’s unprecedented success. She is also a powerful advocate for much more global representation and inclusion in the company’s films.
Diversity is both social responsibility and good business. Marvel Studios offered audiences its first film led by someone who isn’t a white male earlier this year with Black Panther. In return, Marvel was rewarded with $1.3 billion in global box office receipts and the studio’s biggest Oscar® contender to date.
Alonso sees Black Panther as just the beginning. “You don’t get to have this kind of success if the entire world doesn’t see your product,” she tells BBC News. “So we are determined to have every one of those people represented in our films, in some way, at some point in time.”
That goal will not be achieved immediately, Alonso cautions, but Marvel is working toward it as the studio releases of two or three films each year.
“I think we haven’t represented the Latin community, in general.” Alonso says as she highlights underrepresented communities in the MCU. “I think that’s something we have to do better. I’m Latin, I can tell you that I’m longing for that. The gay community has not been represented whatsoever. I’m gay, so I can tell you that I would long for that. I think we haven’t represented the Asian community well, I think we’ve had some representation, but it’s minimal and we would like to represent that, in a big way.”
A big part of changing who makes and stars in the films is having more diversity in the room where those kinds of decisions are made. “I think if you’re a woman it’s very difficult to not be aware that you are a minority, anywhere,” Alonso says. “Although we are 51-percent population, somehow we seem to be outside of many rooms. In filmmaking, it’s very, very clear. Whether it was on set or in post-production or in pre-production, I consistently was one of the few or the only woman in the room.
“I just think it’s better when you have balance. I think when you have a 50/50, it creates for a better room for better conversation and I think it sort of guides stories in a way that it doesn’t if there’s only one of me.”
You can watch the entire video interview here and it’s definitely worth seeing. Alonso is absolutely correct in calling out Marvel’s opportunities to improve with regard to representation. Even she would tell you that those opportunities are not limited to the communities she highlighted, so it’s great to know Marvel Studios is committed to a much more inclusive MCU in the years to come.
SOURCE: BBC News