Disney Retaliates Against Newspaper By Blocking Reviewers

Nov 8-late addition-Disney ends lockout of film critics from a newspaper when other media threaten to boycott movie reviewer screenings for Disney films; link to story below
Nov. 4, 2017-Walt Disney Studios won’t give access to film critics from the Los Angeles Times for advance screenings because of displeasure with the newspaper’s coverage of a Disney theme park, says a Hollywood Reporter story by Paul Bond.
   The Los Angeles Times published a note to readers that accompanies its holiday movie section: “This year, Walt Disney Co. studios
Disney blocked a newspaper's film critics from reviewing the latest Thor movie in a disupte over press coverage

declined to offer The Times advance screenings, citing what it called unfair coverage of its business ties with [Disney's theme park in] Anaheim. The Times will continue to review and cover Disney movies and programs when they are available to the public.”
   The Hollywood Reporter published a Disney statement on the dustup: “We regularly work with news organizations around the world that we don't always agree with, but in this instance the L.A. Times showed a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards.” Disney calls the articles “biased and inaccurate.”
   The Los Angeles Times article in dispute outlined what it asserts are secret cozy relations between Disney and the city of Anaheim, CA, where Disneyland is located, and asserts that Disney negotiated to be shielded from local taxes.
   Press bans erupt sporadically. According to the third edition of Marketing To Moviegoers, “In late 2001, Warner Bros. clashed with Entertainment Weekly, which [then was] in another division of its parent Time Warner. Entertainment Weekly published a big story on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone without cooperation from Warner Bros. and just ahead of studio-arranged stories by other publications. According to the Wall Street Journal, the studio retaliated by not running movie ads in Entertainment Weekly for three months and not inviting the magazine’s film critics to screenings until both sides patched things up.”
   Such boycotts are distressing to filmmakers involved because their films will suffer from diminished publicity when the distributor puts up barriers to press coverage.

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