Disney lifts LA Times press ban
Amid growing pressure, The Walt Disney Co. has ended its ban on journalists from the Los Angeles Times attending press screenings of the company's feature films.
A spokesperson from Disney said: “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.”
No further information other than the statement was released.
News of the blackout first emerged on Nov 3 when the LA Times explained it had not included “Thor: Ragnarok” in its holiday movie preview due to Disney’s refusal to offer them advance screenings.
The LA Times ban was Disney's response to an article published in the newspaper detailing the relationship between Disneyland in California and the City of Anaheim.
Soon after LA Times's "Thor: Ragnarok" piece, Disney responded alleging the newspaper “showed a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards” in its article.
The main opposition to the ban came from four critics groups who released a joint statement on Tuesday (November 7).
“The members of 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 jointly denounce the Walt Disney Company’s media blackout of the Los Angeles Times," read the statement.
"Furthermore, all four critics’ organizations have voted to disqualify Disney’s films from year-end awards consideration until said blackout is publicly rescinded.”
Later the same day, The Toronto Film Critics Association joined the boycott, with The New York Times and filmmaker Ava Duvernay also issuing statements of support.
Disney has high hopes for awards season with contenders including “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and summer releases “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”, “Cars 3” as well as the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson.