Film Critics Boycott Disney After LA Times Banned From Screening

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I have heard my fair share of "Disney vs Film Critics" horror stories. It seems like if you write a negative review of one of their films they might ban you or downgrade you from their screenings, that's what happened to a few of my colleagues in the past year. Every time I write a negative review of a Marvel or Pixar film I always wonder if I'm the next victim of their boycott. Such is the way Disney operates, they royally don't give a fuck because they know they can do whatever the hell they want, their movies are cash cows, they have the power. 

The LA Times was immediately put on Disney's hitlist after the publication of the Times' two-part story: “Is Disney paying its share in Anaheim?” and “How one election changed Disneyland’s relationship with its hometown.” Suffice to say, Disney couldn't handle the fact that their business practices were being questioned and went on a full-on witch hunt, it all concluded with the LA Times taking the brunt of the punishment with reporters and critics banned from covering all their films. Yikes. 

Despite the extreme measure imposed on the newspaper, Disney went on to defend the decision, saying the Times report on their Anaheim ventures was “biased and inaccurate.” Lo and behold, a Christmas miracle happened this morning. It seems like many of the country's most important critics have had enough with Disney as well as the LA Times is getting some massive support from 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, all of whom have announced the disqualification of Disney’s films from awards consideration this year until the ban against the LA Times is lifted. That means no "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and no "Coco" in contention for prizes. It’s a move that shows a lot of integrity and strength, bold in fact, but will Disney pay attention?

Sure, the studio launched a For Your Consideration site, for “Beauty and The Beast,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Coco,” “Cars 3,” and “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2," and, of course, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” but despite those FYC ads being primarily targeted for Oscars and Globes, don't neglect the potential that this could in fact leak through to the Oscars as well. Disney has yet to respond, but, suffice to say, this is a battle of wits that is surely not going to end with this. 

Here's this morning's press release:

"The Los Angeles Film Critics Association below: Nov. 7, 2017 — 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. Furthermore, all four critics’ organizations have voted to disqualify Disney’s films from year-end awards consideration until said blackout is publicly rescinded. On Nov. 3, The Times published a statement that its writers and editors had been blocked from attending advance screenings of Disney films, in response to The Times’ news coverage of Disney’s business arrangements with the City of Anaheim. Disney’s actions, which include an indefinite ban on any interaction with The Times, are antithetical to the principles of a free press and set a dangerous precedent in a time of already heightened hostility toward journalists. It is admittedly extraordinary for a critics’ group, let alone four critics’ groups, to take any action that might penalize film artists for decisions beyond their control. But Disney brought forth this action when it chose to punish The Times’ journalists rather than express its disagreement with a business story via ongoing public discussion. Disney’s response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included."