After growing media pressure, Disney lifted its media blackout of the Los Angeles Times, which had barred movie critics at the publication from attending press screenings of its movies. Disney originally blacklisted the newspaper after it published an investigation of the entertainment giant’s business ties to the city of Anaheim, which Disney called “unfair.”
In response, writers, film critic associations, and publications like The A.V. Club, the National Society of Film Critics, and most recently, The New York Times, stepped up in solidarity with the Los Angeles Times, announcing that they would boycott advance screenings of Disney Films. A.A. Dowd wrote for The A.V. Club, “Now more than ever, journalists need to be united in combating these kinds of attacks.”
Disney’s boycott of the LA Times is unprofessional and unjournalistic. It’s petty, vindictive, and it makes the company look small.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 6, 2017
The Wire creator David Simon, once a journalist himself, posted on Twitter that he would refuse to vote for a Disney film during awards season, and director Ava DuVernay also told journalists she was “standing with [them].”
As pressure continued to build, Disney decided to reverse the ban this afternoon, only four days after it was announced. In a statement to The Verge, Disney cited “productive discussions with the newly installed leadership at The Los Angeles Times” as the reason. Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post critic who led the call for solidarity, called the decision “a huge victory” for critics.
Update November 7th, 6:36PM ET: This article was corrected to reflect that one Washington Post critic announced she was boycotting Disney films — not the whole publication.