Speed Reads

the wonderful world of disney

Disney tried to punish the Los Angeles Times for running an unflattering investigation. Now film critics are fighting back.

Update 3:49 p.m.: Disney ended the ban on Los Angeles Times critics on Tuesday afternoon following the widespread boycott, The New York Times reports. Our original post appears below.

Four major film critic groups announced Tuesday that they will not consider any Disney films for awards this season following the studio's decision to freeze out Los Angeles Times reporters from press screenings after the newspaper published an unflattering investigation about the company's financial dealings with the city of Anaheim. Disney's payback — which prevents Times writers from attending advanced screenings of its films, including those made by Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel — was deemed "craven," "petty," and "hostile to journalism" by the Chicago Tribune.

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 announced that they have voted to "disqualify Disney's films from year-end awards consideration until [the] blackout is publicly rescinded." The critics' decision will affect movies including the live-action Beauty and the Beast, Cars 3, and upcoming films Coco and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Other critics have independently decided to boycott Disney press screenings in solidarity with the Los Angeles Times writers, including staff for The Washington Post, The A.V. Club, and Flavorwire.

The boycotts signal significant pushback in the industry against Disney, which is in "the most powerful position any studio has ever been in, maybe since MGM in the 1930s," The Wall Street Journal wrote earlier this month, quoting a film buyer. Read more about how Disney is trying to control the industry at The Week.