Former DCP head of fashion and home products Pam Lifford, former chief financial officer Anne Gates, and former DCP HR exec Susan Cole Hill were all represented by the same attorney with the Pasadena law firm Hadsell, Stormer, Keeny, Richardson and Rennick which has sued Disney in other employee rights cases. According to my sources, the three women, who are all African Americans, referred to themselves as “The Help” – a reference to last summer’s hit DreamWorks movie distributed by Disney and set during the civil rights movement about black maids in Mississippi.The reorganization took place in September 2011 but the negotiations for the exit settlements dragged on. Some insiders claim the law firm didn’t return Disney’s calls because it first wanted a story damaging to Perlmutter to appear in the media. An article appeared on Thursday, and Disney and Marvel and Perlmutter now are in damage control mode. Financial Times LA-based correspondent Matthew Garrahan broke the news about these three African-American female execs, their respective job status after their boss Andy Mooney was replaced as the head of DCP, and their hiring an attorney. At the time he wrote that only one of the three women had settled with Disney.
But the FT story also reported that, when African-American actor Terrence Howard was replaced by African-American actor Don Cheadle in the role of Colonel Jim Rhodes for “Iron Man 2″, “Perlmutter apparently told Mr. Mooney the change cut costs. He allegedly added words to the effect that no one would notice because black people ‘look the same’,” Garrahan wrote. A Marvel spokesperson told the FT in a statement: “Mr. Perlmutter and all of Marvel have a long record of diversity in the workplace and on movie sets around the world as evidenced by both Mr. Perlmutter’s own history and Marvel’s management team.”
- From “Disney And Marvel Do Damage Control After Media Scrutiny Of Big Boss Ike Perlmutter,” at Deadline.com
By Guest Contributor Jabari Sellars
Superhero movies routinely take liberties with established storylines and characters, with famously mixed results. But even with all the disappointment recent efforts brought to theatres, this summer offers one final comic-book adaptation with the potential to cleanse the palette.
Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The First Avenger hits theatres on July 22nd in hopes of joining Iron Man and The Dark Knight as financially successful comic book adaptations that earn the acclaim of critics and fans alike, bridging the gap between generations of comic-book lore and bringing characters and messages powerful enough to interest audiences beyond Cap’s customary fanbase. It would seem impossible for First Avenger to satisfy everyone, but one way the film could earn some goodwill from both fandom and mainstream audiences would be to introduce the man who was Captain America before Steve Rogers, Isaiah Bradley.