L.A. Times banned from attending Disney advanced screenings, journalists boycott in protest

Disney

The 21st Century Fox news isn’t the only reason Disney is trending.

The Los Angeles Times has been blacklisted from attending any advanced screenings of Disney films after posting a pair of controversial articles. As a result, multiple journalists and news sites have decided to boycott Disney until the ban is lifted.

The coverage that led to the ban is a series of stories investigating Disneyland’s ties to the Anaheim City Council. The first story — “Is Disney paying its share in Anaheim?” — was posted on Sept. 24 and examines deals that might have been made between the company and local politicians. The second article — “How One Election Changed Disneyland’s Relationship With Its Hometown” — came on Sept. 26 and looks further into newly elected members of the Anaheim City Council and their relationship with Disney.

As a result, Disney has decided to forbid the LA Times from seeing any of their films in early showings. While that may not seem like a huge deal, it’s surely going to impact that amount of traffic an article will get should it come out a few days after the rest of the mega-news sites post their reviews.

More specifically, it was Thor: Ragnarok that the paper wasn’t permitted to see. In the Times annual holiday preview, they included a disclaimer saying “The annual Holiday Movie Sneaks section published by the Los Angles Times typically includes features on movies from all major studios, reflecting the diversity of films Hollywood offers during the holidays, one of the busiest box-office periods of the year. This year, Walt Disney Co. studios declined to offer The Times advance screenings, citing what it called unfair coverage of its business ties with Anaheim. The Times will continue to review and cover Disney movies and programs when they are available to the public.”

Since the ban on the Times was announced, many other online news sites have decided to boycott the mega-blockbuster company. “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,” wrote Alyssa Rosenberg of The Washington Post.

Other sites weren’t far behind. A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club said: “The A.V. Club will follow The Washington Post’s lead and — effective immediately — we will refrain from attending any press screenings of Disney movies, at least until the company rescinds its ban on The Los Angeles Times.” Flavorwire film editor Jason Bailey and Boston Globe critic Ty Burr also announced they won’t be attending any advanced screenings, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Others showed their support on Twitter:

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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.