Critics Groups to Disqualify Disney Films from Award Consideration Over Los Angeles Times Ban

Four critics groups have banded together in support of the Los Angeles Times. They have vowed to disqualify Disney Films from award consideration until Walt Disney Company lifts their ban of the Los Angeles Times from press screenings, as reported by Variety.

On Friday November 3, the Los Angeles Times revealed that in a statement that Disney has barred them from attending advanced screenings of their films because of their coverage of Disney's business dealings with the city of Anaheim. The article uncovered the deals between Disneyland and Anaheim, to Disney's dismay.

Now, 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 have all released the following joint statement in support of the LA Times and have vowed to not consider Disney films from future awards consideration.

"Disney's actions, which include an indefinite ban on any interaction with The Times, are antithetical to the principles of a free press and set a dangerous precedent in a time of already heightened hostility toward journalists. It is admittedly extraordinary for a critics' group, let alone four critics' groups, to take any action that might penalize film artists for decisions beyond their control. But Disney brought forth their action when it chose to punish The Times' journalists rather than express its disagreement with a business story via ongoing public discussion. Disney's response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included."

Other outlets have also vowed to not attend and therefore review Disney movies until the ban is lifted.

If Disney wants to be considered in awards consideration, they will have to act fast to get these critics groups on their side. The New York Film Critics Circle votes for its annual awards on November 30. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association votes on December 3. The Boston Society of Film Critics votes Dec. 10 and the National Society of Film Critics will vote January 6.

Disney has released the following statement in response, accusing the Los Angeles Times of not fulfilling "basic journalistic standards."

"Despite our sharing numerous indisputable facts with the reporter, several editors, and the publisher over many months, the Times moved forward with a biased and inaccurate series, wholly driven by a political agenda. We've had a long relationship with the L.A. Times. We hope they will adhere to balanced reporting in the future."

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times Official Facebook Page

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