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Disney Ends Ban on the Los Angeles Times Amid Growing Industry Backlash

Now that the ban has ended, critics groups such as the New York Film Critics Circle will allow Disney-backed films to be eligible for awards.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Disney

Disney has ended a ban against the Los Angeles Times’ film critics following extreme backlash from film critic groups, news organizations, directors, and more. The Los Angeles Times published a two-part investigation in September about Disney’s business ties with Anaheim, which included a look at the company’s protection from future taxes and its effect on local elections, among other topics. Disney responded by blacklisting the newspaper. The Times informed readers the ban was the reason it did not get early screening access to “Thor: Ragnarok.”

“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,” Disney said in a statement.

In the wake of the ban, news outlets such as The AV Club and Flavorwire, plus The Washington Post writer Alyssa Rosenberg, released statements that they would not be attending any Disney press screenings as long as the ban was in effect. Five critics groups— the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics, and the Toronto Film Critics Association — announced Disney-backed films would not be eligible for awards consideration at year-end ceremonies. Now that the ban has been lifted, Disney films will be eligible.

Disney was also pressured to end the ban by one of its own filmmakers, Ava DuVernay. The director is behind the camera of the company’s March blockbuster “A Wrinkle in Time” and tweeted in support of the press’ boycott against Disney. The growing boycott would’ve been problematic for Disney, whose upcoming releases “Coco” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” are arguably two of their biggest titles of the year.

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