Four critics groups have banded together in support of the Los Angeles Times.
Disney responded by blasting the newspaper for a "complete disregard for basic journalistic standards", and the Times said it had been informed its critics could not attend the usual advance screenings of movies, which are necessary in order to publish a review on the opening day of a movie. 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".
The New York Film Critics Circle votes on its annual awards Thursday, Nov. 30, with the Los Angeles Film Critics Association following on Sunday, Dec. 3, the Boston Society of Film Critics on Sunday, Dec. 10, and the National Society of Film Critics on Saturday, Jan. 6.
According to the statement, Disney's actions are considered "antithetical to the principles of a free press and set a risky precedent in a time of already heightened hostility toward journalists".
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The newspaper explained on November 3 that the studio's films such as "Thor: Ragnarok" were not included in its holiday movie preview because a story the Times published that examined the business relationship between the company's flagship Californian theme park, Disneyland, and the city of Anaheim.
Four major film critic organizations released a joint statement, directed at Disney, that sends one blunt message: Enough with this bullshit. The Boston Society of Film Critics votes December 10 and the National Society of Film Critics will vote January 6. "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 - so much so that the Orange County Register referred to the report as "a hit piece" with a 'seemingly predetermined narrative, '" a statement released on Friday read (via Deadline).
Essentially, Disney did not like the L.A. Times' coverage, and have black-listed them from all future press screenings and events.
"They won't return our phone calls or emails or take our questions on a conference call and when they do analyst meetings they invite everyone but us, said Greenfield, adding that Disney's chief executive, Bob Iger, even blocked the firm on Twitter".
Since the Times blackout became public, writers at other outlets have promised to skip Disney press screenings in a show of solidarity, a movement that gained attention after Alyssa Rosenberg of the Washington Post wrote of her decision to on Monday.