Disney is currently facing major backlash after placing Los Angeles Times on a ‘blackout’ from all of the company’s press screenings. The company made the abrupt decision shortly after the newspaper released an investigative report on all of Disney’s tax benefits from the city of Anaheim, California. You can read the article here. The article highlighted Disney’s many tactics for extracting tax breaks at Disneyland. A key issue brought up was the parking lot the city of Anaheim provided Disney and is charged a single $1 a year to lease but makes roughly $35 million a year. That’s just the parking lot alone. The article also noted the city spent $108.2 million to build the lot. The article provided an insight to the reality that goes on behind the happiest place on earth.
Disney responded to the article by saying the newspaper has “complete disregard for basic journalistic standards,” and since then have banned the newspaper from advanced press screenings of all their movies. A big part of newspapers’ entertainment section are movie reviews, so it’s not exactly determined whether or not this was a smart decision on the company’s part.
Because of the harsh ‘blackout,’ other newspapers are boycotting Disney by not attending screenings to show solidarity for LA Times. In response to the ban, LA Times have released a statement.
Due to Disney’s decision, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics have all issued a joint statement voting to “disqualify Disney films from year-end awards consideration until said blackout is publicly rescinded.”