The Marvel film Eternals continues to be a strong performer at the box office, sticking at the number one spot for two weeks in a row and so far earning $118 million in the United States and Canada.
But what has many viewers talking about the film on a larger scale is its ardent commitment to diversity. Directed by Chloé Zhao, the second woman ever and first woman of color to win the Academy Award for Best Director, the film features the first-ever deaf and South Asian superheroes as well as the first gay kiss in a Marvel film.
And that focus on diversity, representation, and inclusion within the film is no accident.
While accepting the Visionary Award at the Outfest Legacy Awards on Saturday, Nov. 13, Victoria Alonso, president of physical and postproduction, visual effects and animation production for Marvel Studios, gave a stirring and passionate speech reaffirming the company’s DEI goals.
“We have tried to stir it up, and sometimes the critics are not with us,” she said. “That’s OK. We thank you for being a critic. 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% 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.”
As Variety’s Rebecca Rubin reported, “Alonso [also] said she is committed to diversity of perspectives in storytelling.”
“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.”
As Alonso wrapped up her speech, she also reached out to fellow Outfest honoree, trans actor Rain Valdez, saying, “I see you. You’re not alone. [And] 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 belonging. Don’t walk in thinking you don’t belong.”