Disney ends ban on LA Times from its press screenings after backlash


Disney on Tuesday ended its block of the Los Angeles Times from press screenings of its films following rising backlash.

“We’ve had productive discussions with the newly installed leadership at The Los Angeles Times regarding our specific concerns, and as a result, we’ve agreed to restore access to advance screenings for their film critics,” a Disney spokesperson stated.

Five critics teams had blasted the Walt Disney Co.’s media blackout of the Los Angeles Times and pledged to disqualify Disney’s movies from awards consideration till the blackout is lifted.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics collectively issued the badertion Tuesday morning. The Toronto Film Critics Association joined the boycott on Tuesday as nicely.

The New York Times additionally introduced that it will stand in solidarity with the LA Times.

“The New York Times will not attend preview screenings of Disney films until access is restored to The Los Angeles Times,” the newspaper stated in an announcement. “A powerful company punishing a news organization for a story they do not like is meant to have a chilling effect. This is a dangerous precedent and not at all in the public interest.”

The controversy went public on Nov. three when the Los Angeles Times printed an announcement that its writers and editors had been blocked from attending advance screenings of Disney movies on account of the newspaper’s protection of Disney’s enterprise preparations with the City of Anaheim.

“Disney’s actions, which include an indefinite ban on any interaction with The Times, are antithetical to the principles of a free press and set a dangerous precedent in a time of already heightened hostility toward journalists,” the badertion stated.

“It is admittedly extraordinary for a critics’ group, let alone four critics’ groups, to take any action that might penalize film artists for decisions beyond their control,” the teams added. “But Disney brought forth this action when it chose to punish The Times’ journalists rather than express its disagreement with a business story via ongoing public discussion. Disney’s response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included.”

The New York Film Critics Circle will vote on its annual awards on Nov. 30. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association will vote on Dec. three. The Boston Society of Film Critics will vote Dec. 10; and the National Society of Film Critics will vote Jan. 6.

Several different shops had stated they’d take part not reviewing Disney movies till the dispute is resolved.

The newspaper defined on Nov. three that the studio’s movies equivalent to “Thor: Ragnarok” weren’t included in its vacation film preview due to Disney’s refusal to supply advance screenings in response to a Sept. 24 story the Times printed that examined the enterprise relationship between the corporate’s flagship Californian theme park, Disneyland, and town of Anaheim.

“The annual Holiday Movie Sneaks section published by the Los Angeles Times typically includes features on movies from all major studios, reflecting the diversity of films Hollywood offers during the holidays, one of the busiest box-office periods of the year,” the Times wrote in an editor’s word on its film preview. “This year, Walt Disney Co. studios declined to offer The Times advance screenings, citing what it called unfair coverage of its business ties with Anaheim.”

The Times overview for “Thor: Ragnarok” was not printed till public screenings had begun.

Disney alleged final week that the Times “showed a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards.”

“Despite our sharing numerous indisputable facts with the reporter, several editors, and the publisher over many months, the Times moved forward with a biased and inaccurate series, wholly driven by a political agenda,” Disney stated in an announcement. “We’ve had a long relationship with the L.A. Times. We hope they will adhere to balanced reporting in the future.”

Ava DuVernay, director of Disney’s March 9 launch “A Wrinkle in Time,” stated she’s supporting journalists equivalent to The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg over their choice to boycott Disney films.

The Television Critics Association board weighed in with a condemnation of Disney on Tuesday: “The Television Critics Association understands that screeners and coverage opportunities are a privilege and not a right, but we condemn any circumstance in which a company takes punitive action against journalists for doing their jobs.”

Disney’s awards season contenders embrace its live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and animated movies “Cars 3” and “Coco.”


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