Days after the Los Angeles Times announced they were unable to include Disney movies in their annual winter movie preview because of the film studio blocking the newspaper from advance press screenings, several journalists and outlets announced that they would stand in solidarity with the Times and refuse to go to Disney’s press screenings, instead waiting for regular release.
Flavorwire was the first to start the Disney boycott and also had the strongest stance with an outright ban. The website pledged to not cover any Disney movie (including subsidiaries Marvel and LucasFilm), including “reviewing their films, but write-ups of their trailers, production announcements, casting rumors, and so on.”
The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg, a cultural blogger for the newspaper, wrote online that she was boycotting the press screenings and would instead watch and review the films when they are released for the public. Rosenberg did also acknowledge that this decision will likely have a negative impact on traffic to her blog as search results prize being the first and she will be at a distinct disadvantage.
Rosenberg’s boycott applies only to her and not to the Washington Post’s chief film critic, Ann Hornaday. Kris Coratti, a spokesperson for the Washington Post, said “Alyssa writes about pop culture for our Opinions section. Our newsroom critics continue to cover their beats as they normally do.”
Following Rosenberg’s post, The AV Club, a pop culture website owned by The Onion, announced they too would boycott Disney’s screenings. Also like Rosenberg, they would review the films alongside the general public.
CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted that he bought a subscription to the Los Angeles Times in support of the paper and he called Disney’s move “unprofessional and unjournalistic.”
The block by Disney came as a result of a piece the Times produced on Disney and Disneyland home city Anaheim. The relationship has largely been advantageous to both Disney and Anaheim politicians, but recently politicians have been elected on a harsher Disney platform. The piece detailed how Disney woos politicians and described their tax breaks.
The Los Angeles Times had no comment when reached by TKNN and Walt Disney Studios did not respond to a request for comment.