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Disney Reverses Film Critic Ban

Walt Disney Co. has reversed a ban of Los Angeles Times critics from screenings of its films after it created a backlash from other media outlets and organizations. The Burbank entertainment and media giant had banned Times movie reviewers as a response to the paper’s coverage of the relationship between its Disneyland theme park and the city of Anaheim. Other media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post and AV Club, sided with the Times in solidarity. Four major critics groups, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Circle, said they would not consider Disney films for any awards they give out this year, prompting the company to reverse its decision, according to the New York Times “We’ve had productive discussions with the newly installed leadership at The Los Angeles Times regarding our specific concerns, and as a result, we’ve agreed to restore access to advance screenings for their film critics,” Disney said in a statement. In stories published in September, the Times said that over two decades as Disney profits have soared, it received subsidies, incentives, rebates and protections from future taxes worth more than $1 billion from the city of Anaheim. Disney, while not asking for any corrections, has accused the Times of showing “a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards” and following a “political agenda.” Shares in Disney closed up Tuesday 96 cents, or just less than 1 percent, to $101.60 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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