The Walt Disney Company has received some hefty backlash for making the decision to blacklist the Los Angeles Times from their press screenings due to a story they published last month. In a shocking turn of events this afternoon, the company has chosen to reverse that decision. Disney said in a statement,
“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’s change of heart comes after various news outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the A.V. Club stated that they would be boycotting advance screenings of Disney films in support and solidarity with fellow journalists until access was restored to the L.A. Times.
— LA Film Critics (@LAFilmCritics) November 7, 2017
The Los Angeles Times made Disney’s decision public knowledge by including a note to their readers last week. In the note, they explained that feature articles about Disney movies would not be appearing in their 2017 Holiday Movie Preview section and since then, the matter has drawn national attention.
The Los Angeles Times has said that Disney did not contact them to make any corrections to their investigative story. Since then, The L.A. Times has not covered the clamor from critics and news organizations that resulted since the blacklist.
Disney has faced pressure from high-profile Hollywood personalities as well, such as Ava DuVernay, who directed A Wrinkle in Time, which is scheduled to be released by Walt Disney Studios on March 9.
Alyssa Rosenberg, the journalist who covers culture for The Washington Post, wrote earlier today, “As long as Disney is blocking the critics from the Los Angeles Times from press screenings, I can’t in good conscience attend similar showings or write reviews in advance.”
According to the New York Times, “Disney has a history of taking punitive action against news organizations that publish articles that it deems unfair.”
“A powerful company punishing a news organization for a story they do not like is meant to have a chilling effect. This is a dangerous precedent and not at all in the public interest,” The L.A. Times said.
News Source: The New York Times
Image Soure: Huffington Post