Boing Boing

After a show of solidarity from America's critics, Disney caves on blacklisting the LA Times from movie screenings

Disney has ended its blacklisting of the LA Times' movie critics from advance screenings -- a move it took in retaliation for a pair of in-depth, investigative articles that cataloged the one-sided deals it has extracted from the city of Anaheim, where it is the largest employer, taxpayer, charitable giver, and political contributor -- after the nation's movie critics announced that they would not review nor consider for awards any Disney movie.

Additional solidarity for the LA Times came from Disney's own talent pool, including director Ava DuVernay, who directed Disney's forthcoming feature adaptation of Madeline L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time."

Disney claims that the Times's coverage of its political maneuvers in Anaheim were unfair and cast the company in a bad light. But its heavy-handed response drew far more attention than the article would have had otherwise, and the spectacle of one of the largest corporations on earth responding to accusations of bullying with more bullying was so unseemly that it made the Times's case more credible, not less.

Disney claims that it rescinded its ban due to negotiations with the LA Times, and not because of public pressure.

“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 said in a statement.

Yep. Nothing to do with the backlash prompted by its bullshit move. Instead, it's all about a recent regime change and some "productive discussions." And the entertainment giant has nothing to say about its stupidly punitive actions resulting in more attention being drawn to the LA Times articles it disagrees with. There's not much that's more counterproductive than attempting to punish news outlets for delivering news. Even if the news outlet is in the wrong, there's nothing to be gained from refusing to be the adult in the room.

Disney Bans LA Times Writers From Advance Screenings In Response To Negative Articles [Tim Cushing/Techdirt]