Who knew Victoria Alonso could sing?
Marvel Studios’ president of physical and postproduction, visual effects and animation production broke out into song not once, but twice when she was presented with the Visionary Award at the Outfest Legacy Awards on Saturday night at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
She sang a verse of B.o.B’s “Beautiful Girl All Over the World” to her wife, Imelda Corcoran. Toward the end of her remarks, Alonso warbled “I Am What I Am” from “La Cage Aux Folles” in English and Spanish.
Musical chops aside, Alonso delivered a passionate speech about LGBTQ equality and visibility. “We have tried to stir it up and sometimes the critics are not with us. That’s OK. That’s OK,” Alonso said of her work at Marvel. “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 percent 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 said she is committed to diversity of perspectives in storytelling. Her speech came on the heels of the release of “Eternals,” the latest Marvel Studios epic that features the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first gay superhero. “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.”
Addressing fellow honoree, trans actor Rain Valdez, Alonso said, “I see you. You’re not alone. I perhaps have not 100 percent done right by you. 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.”
Indie distributor Neon received the Guardian Award, which was accepted by founder and CEO Tom Quinn. “Today’s cinema is tomorrow’s storytellers,” Quinn said. “We will reap what we sow. Now I know everyone in this room has worked really hard to get here. And I say this not in vain, but yeah, we still have a lot of work to do. There is still a better place we would like to go.”
And then Quinn took a swipe at Netflix’s Dave Chappelle controversy. “FYI, for those people somewhere in L.A., who didn’t get the memo,” Quinn said. “Black trans lives are not a joke.”
Actor Robin de Jesús was presented with the Terrence McNally Award by “Pose” co-creator/executive producer Steven Canals. De Jesús thanked Lin-Manuel Miranda for casting him in his new musical movie “Tick, Tick … Boom!” “It’s not a coincidence that he gave me this role in ‘Tick, Tick …Boom!,’ a role that I can feel has changed me and healed me,” de Jesús said. “It took my Puerto Rican brother with a platform to be the one to give this Puerto Rican brother the platform to give him this moment that I have wanted for so long and that actually for the first time in my life, I’m able to say, I deserve, I allow, I receive.”
Valdez was recognized with the Trailblazer Award. “I do believe that it’s not too late for Hollywood to change its legacy on trans stories,” she said. “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.”
Innovative Artists’ Jonathan Howard, attorney Marissa Román Griffith and Visa’s Alan Koenigsberg were also honored for their longtime support of Outfest.
The awards ceremony, presented by IMDB and Cadillac, took place in the museum’s David Geffen Theater and was followed by dinner on the Dolby Terrace.
(Pictured top: Victoria Alonso at “Eternals” premiere in October)