Under Pressure, Disney Lifts LA Times Ban

Under Pressure, Disney Lifts LA Times Ban

Under Pressure, Disney Lifts LA Times Ban

High-profile organisations and individuals publicly criticised the company's decision.

Critics from outlets including The Washington Post, Flavorwire and the A.V. Club are scaling back their own advance Disney film coverage in solidarity with the L.A Times.

"The New York Times will not attend preview screenings of Disney films until access is restored to the Los Angeles Times", a Times spokesperson told TheWrap.

The story was interesting for its political potentiali, allowing a glimpse into the temperament Disney CEO Bob Iger directs towards a free press, raising eyebrows because of the political ambitions Iger reportedly harbours-ambitions which, in an age where a former reality TV star is now a sitting US President and the legitimacy of a free and independent press continues to be in question, raise flags.

A joint statement from the critics groups said Disney's Times shutdown set a risky precedent for entertainment reporters.

The New York Times joined a growing media boycott of Disney movies, saying in a statement that it will not attend screenings of Disney films until the company restores access to the Los Angeles Times.

Disney's decision to block Los Angeles Times journalists from advance screenings inadvertently drew national attention to the articles on the company's dealings with Anaheim.

Disney on Friday said that the Times series in September detailing what it characterized as a complicated and increasingly tense relationship between Anaheim and the company showed "a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards". Exclusion from Disney screenings, said a Los Angeles Times source last week, means that the newspaper would have to publish reviews "a day late", not to mention under more time pressure. This public falling-out began when the LA Times published an article that painted Disney in a bad light, suggesting that Disney's Parks & Resorts aren't paying a fair share to the city of Anaheim.

"Disney's response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included", the paper added.

The backlash went one step further today when four groups of prominent film critics announced they would bar Disney films from awards consideration. Over the years, the BSFC has proven to be impressively prescient in its ability to point the path for eventual Oscar winners (we make our picks in early December, the Academy Awards are held in February or March of the following year), picking the winning film more than any other organization.

Additional boycotts of Disney films - which include Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok, Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Pixar's Coco - arose in light of the blackout.

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