Go Woke is the effective strategy that one outspoken Marvel executive believes is the way forward for Marvel to keep delivering hits and how it plans to keep those hits coming in the future. Marvel Studios Executive Vice President of Production Victoria Alonso told Deadline that she believes the secret to Marvel’s continued success and why every Marvel Studios movie is #1 at the box office on its opening weekend, is simple: the MCU’s “audience is global:”
“The reason we have that success consistently is because our audience is global. You cannot have a global audience and not somehow start to represent it… For us, it was really, really, really important to have that.”
Alonso then elevated films like Captain Marvel and Black Panther, adding, “You can look at it from the social point of view, the cultural point of view:”
“For the longest of time, we heard a woman-led film will never open. I say, ‘Please check, Captain Marvel made a lot of money.’ Then they always told us that Black Panther was never going to open and that nobody wanted a completely Black cast, and that made $1.3B. So you can look at it from the social point of view, the cultural point of view.
Representation, according to Alonso, is a requirement for the MCU’s continued financial success. “You’re leaving money on the table by not representing,” she said:
“From a fiscal point of view, you are leaving money on the table by not representing. I think 51% of our audience is female, 28% of our audience is Hispanic. If we don’t represent the people that watch what we make, eventually they’ll go elsewhere because somebody else will figure it out.”
Alonso noted, “When I walk into a room I do a headcount of how many women. If there’s only three women in the room and there’s 17 men, I usually make this comment, ‘Oh, there’s a lot of men here today.’ Is it passive aggressive? No — you can take it that way if you have a dirty conscience — it’s really calling it what it is. It’s my reality, but I’m 15% of that equation.
Bless her heart. It’s worth mentioning that this is the same Marvel employee who, when asked how the about Marvel’s future and the X-Men’s involvement in it, now that Disney had acquired FOX Studios, she quickly admitted that she had an issue with the X-Men’s name.
“I don’t know where the future is going,” Alonso told Nuke the Fridge. “It’s funny that people call it the X-Men. There’s a lot of female superheroes in that X-Men group, so I think it’s outdated.”
And during Women in Animation’s virtual fireside chat, the diversity-minded Marvel exec explained how the upcoming ten part series “What If” – Marvel’s first foray into animation since becoming its own production company – is enabling creatives to explore a more inclusive universe.
“[What if…?] gives us an opportunity to look at things through a different lens. It’s full of surprises and includes the characters we know and love who are doing other things and a lot of different characters too.”
Her claims that no one else is making movies with female leads or that people are saying “an all-black cast couldn’t succeed” are dubious at best. Cultural critic Eric D. July shared his own perspective Ms. Alonso’s claims, as well as Marvel’s confidence in a guaranteed success by leaning into more ‘representation’.