Disney Ends Its Screening Ban On The L.A. Times

Friday the Los Angeles Times published a note revealing that Walt Disney Studios had blocked its writers from attending upcoming movie screenings due to critical reporting they had done on Disneyland’s relationship to the city of Anaheim. Now Disney has reportedly rescinded the blackout based on a media-wide backlash that has occurred over the weekend.

“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,” Disney told the New York Times in a statement.

Early Tuesday several critics associations including the LA Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Boston Society of Film Critics, came together to denounce Disney’s decision and discount Disney films from their year-end awards if the blackout agains the L.A. Times wasn’t rescinded.

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Journalists and film critics from other publications like the Washington Post and the New York Times, plus Ava DuVernay, also joined the boycott before Disney decided they were ending the blackout.

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

thenoblerenard
The Noble Renard

With Disney’s plans to buy 20th Century Fox now coming into public, this particular spat is indicative of the real danger of giving them even more power. It’s one thing to blacklist a critic for a particular review the critic wrote or because you have issues with how the other critic specifically acts.

But here, Disney blacklisted the LA Times because the LA Times wrote a series of stories discussing how Disney had essentially bought the Anaheim City Council and had gotten incredibly lucrative tax breaks at a major cost to the local taxpayer and with virtually zero oversight. For example, Disney got the City of Anaheim to spend $108.2 MILLION to build them a parking garage for Disneyland. Disney rents the garage—which earns over 30 million a year—from the city for $1 a year. 

Disney essentially was furious that one journalistic division at the LA Times had the tenacity to write an article about them buying local politicians and in return retaliated against an entire different LA Times division that reviewed movies. Disney should get all the negative PR here.