Film critics boycott Disney after it bans media outlet from screenings

Los Angeles: It seems like all is not well in the magical land of Disney.

Fiver critics groups, which included 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, blasted the Walt Disney Company’s media blackout of one of the leading U.S. publication.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, all the critics groups issued a joint statement in which they pledged to disqualify Disney’s films from awards consideration until the blackout is lifted.

The controversy went public on November 3 when the publication issued a statement that its writers and editors had been blocked from attending advance screenings of Disney films as a result of the newspaper’s coverage of Disney’s business arrangements with the City of Anaheim.

Disney called the story “unfair coverage” and tweeted that the newspaper had been “put on pause” by Disney, “barring its reporters and critics from seeing [Disney] movies.”

In the statement, the critics’ groups said Disney’s actions “are antithetical to the principles of a free press and set a dangerous precedent in a time of already heightened hostility toward journalists.”

Ava DuVernay, director of Disney’s March 9 release “A Wrinkle in Time,” said she’s supporting journalists over their decision to boycott Disney movies.

Just few hours before, Disney has ended the ban on the publication from its press screenings after facing a lot of backlash.

The spokesperson said that Disney have had “productive discussions” with the bosses of the newspaper and as a result, they “have agreed to restore access to advance screenings for their film critics.”

Disney’s awards season contenders include its live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ and animated films ‘Cars 3’ and ‘Coco.’ (ANI)