Disney faces film critics boycott blacklisting the LA Times


DuVernay, whose Disney film "A Wrinkle in Time" will be released on March 9, 2018, applauded the show of solidarity and announced on Twitter that she would "stand with" the journalists in protesting Disney's retaliatory move-a decision that won immediate praise from social media followers, who praised her for "putting what's right ahead of what's personally beneficial". And the four critics organizations said that Disney films are disqualified from consideration for the groups' year-end awards "until said blackout is publicly rescinded". I told you they banned LA Times critics from screenings after the paper ran an article critical of Disney's business dealings in Anaheim, California, home of Disneyland.

The Boston Society of Film Critics joined the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics in speaking out against Disney's systematic blackballing of the Times from their press screenings, interview opportunities and other media access. Entertainment news outlets, like The A.V. Club and Flavorwire, announced their writers won't attend Disney press screenings until the ban on The Times is lifted. In an initial statement on the matter, the Mouse House claimed The Times "showed a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards".

The fallout started when Disney made a decision to exclude the LA Times from advance screenings of its films, as well as cutting access to the actors in those film.

According to the Times, Disney called the story "unfair coverage" and columnist Glenn Whipp tweeted that the newspaper had been "put on pause" by Disney, "barring its reporters and critics from seeing [Disney] movies".

Had Disney done nothing after the LA Times ran its September 24 piece other than refute it in a press release or - assuming there was enough viable legal footing - taken the paper to court, none of this would be news.

Now, four major film critics' groups - 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 - have released a joint statement denouncing Disney.

"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", the statement continued. The statement acknowledged the undesired side effect as "extraordinary", but stated, "Disney's response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included".

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