Four Critics Groups Disqualify Disney Films Over Los Angeles Times Ban – Variety

Four critics teams have 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 controversy went public on Nov. three when the Los Angeles Times printed a press release that its writers and editors had been blocked from attending advance screenings of Disney movies because 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 mentioned.

“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.”

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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 retailers had mentioned they might take part not reviewing Disney movies till the dispute is resolved.

The newspaper defined on Nov. three that the studio’s movies corresponding to “Thor: Ragnarok” weren’t included in its vacation film preview as a result of a narrative the Times printed that examined the enterprise relationship between the corporate’s flagship Californian theme park, Disneyland, and the 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 evaluation 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 mentioned in a press release. “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,” mentioned she’s supporting journalists corresponding to The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg over their resolution to boycott Disney films.

 


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