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Marvel drops Jonathan Majors following assault and harassment conviction

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Until very recently, actor Jonathan Majors was a Hollywood star on the rise. Earlier this year, he appeared in "Creed III," and he was set to lead an upcoming Marvel movie. But yesterday, in a Manhattan courtroom, a jury found him guilty of domestic violence charges, and Marvel confirmed to NPR right after the verdict that they have dropped him. NPR culture correspondent Anastasia Tsioulcas was in the courtroom.

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: The New York jury split their verdict on Jonathan Majors. They convicted him of assaulting and harassing his former girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, during an argument in March, which began after she saw texts he'd received from another woman. Jabbari was later found by police with bruises, cuts and a broken finger. But the jury also found Majors innocent of two other charges - intentional assault and aggravated harassment. Essentially, they didn't believe he'd gone into the situation intending to physically hurt her. In a statement from his lawyer, Majors said he was both grateful for and disappointed by the jury's verdict.

The jury also heard and saw evidence that the March incident was not the first time Majors may have hurt Jabbari. In a series of text messages from 2022, the couple discussed a prior situation during which she suffered head injuries. The jurors also heard an audio recording of a separate argument, in which Majors told Jabbari that she needed to be more supportive of him, like, he said, Coretta Scott King or Michelle Obama. On the tape, Majors can be heard saying, quote, "I'm a great man."

These convictions are misdemeanors in New York. But Jonathan Majors' career is already experiencing significant fallout. Majors had appeared this year in "Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania," and Marvel and Disney had planned to release a movie starring his character, the villain Kang the Conqueror, in 2026. Majors will be sentenced on February 6.

Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR News, New York.

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Anastasia Tsioulcas
Anastasia Tsioulcas is a correspondent on NPR's Culture desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including the trial and conviction of former R&B superstar R. Kelly; backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; and gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards.