Disney just laid off the guy it bought Marvel from… but that’s probably a good thing

Disney just laid off the guy it bought Marvel from… but that’s probably a good thing


Former Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter has been embroiled in controversy during his three decades at Marvel and is often accused of being the reason why it took so long to make a Black Widow film.

Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Disney has laid off Marvel Entertainment chair Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter as part of its layoffs affecting 7,000 workers, according to a report from The New York Times. Perlmutter, who’s been a Marvel executive since 1993 and joined Disney when Marvel was acquired in 2009, is a divisive figure.

Perlmutter helmed Marvel during its sale to Disney and later served as an executive chair. During his 30-year tenure at Marvel, Perlmutter has been blamed for holding back the inclusion of women and people of color in the studio’s films. In a set of leaked emails from 2014, Perlmutter argued that past superhero movies with a female lead flopped, while a memoir from Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that he had to get past Perlmutter’s “roadblocks” when getting movies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel into production.

While Disney eventually booted Perlmutter from Marvel Studios in 2015 — the division in charge of Marvel’s films — it later gave him a new role as chair of Marvel’s consumer products. This came as a relief to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who experienced “several years of frustration” under Perlmutter’s lead, as Perlmutter even allegedly tried to fire Feige at one point.

Beyond his notorious interference with the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, here’s a list of some of the other scandals that the 80-year-old Perlmutter has reportedly been involved in, which include (but aren’t limited to): allegedly bribing a New York police officer to expedite the process of renewing his gun license; supposedly influencing the Department of Veterans Affairs using his connection to Donald Trump’s golf course; and a White Lotus-esque legal dispute involving tennis courts, stolen DNA, and hate mail.

More recently, Perlmutter helped stir up a proxy fight at Disney by supporting his longtime friend Nelson Peltz’s campaign to get on Disney’s board. The two men shared the same views on cost cutting.

But now, Perlmutter’s out at Disney, as the Times reports that the company decided to fold the Marvel Entertainment business within Marvel Studios, eliminating his job as a result. Disney also axed its entire metaverse team and laid off executives at Hulu, Freeform, and FX.


Emma Roth

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