Saturday, July 21, 2018
Movies

Disney ends LA Times ban after widespread backlash

The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday lifted its ban of Los Angeles Times reporters and critics from its press screenings after a widespread backlash prompted several media outlets to announce their own boycotts of Disney movies.

In a statement Tuesday, Disney said it was restoring access to the newspaper after "productive discussions with the newly installed leadership" at the Los Angeles Times. Disney had barred the Times from its screenings after the paper published a two-part investigative series on the company’s business dealings in Anaheim, California, where Disneyland is.

Disney’s punitive measures against the Times led to many outlets refusing advance coverage of the studio’s films, including The New York Times, the Boston Globe and The A.V. Club. Four prominent film critics groups announced Tuesday that they would bar Disney films from receiving awards consideration

The ban’s withdraw Tuesday ended an unusual clash between Hollywood’s arguably most powerful studio and the media outlets that regularly write about its movies.

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 all said that wouldn’t consider Disney films for their year-end awards. The critics groups noted that it was "admittedly extraordinary" to "take any action that might penalize film artists for decisions beyond their control."

"But Disney brought forth this action when it chose to punish The Times’ journalists rather than express its disagreement with a business story via ongoing public discussion," the statement continued. "Disney’s response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included."

The New York Times said in a statement Tuesday that it wouldn’t attend preview screenings of Disney films while the LA Times can’t, saying Disney’s move is a "dangerous precedent and not at all in the public interest."

Disney on Friday said that the Times series in September detailing what it characterized as a complicated and increasingly tense relationship between Anaheim and the company showed "a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards." It added that the Times published a "biased and inaccurate series, wholly driven by a political agenda."

Daniel Miller, the Times reporter who wrote the series, tweeted that "Disney never asked for a correction." The newspaper declined further comment.

With the ban concluded, critics said they would return to business as usual. Disney’s upcoming films are the Pixar release "Coco" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

"See you guys at the Coco screening," wrote New York Times critic A.O. Scott.

Comments
In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’

In theaters this week: ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,’ ‘The Equalizer 2,’ silent film ‘Safety Last’

OPENING FRIDAY:MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAINSophie (Amanda Seyfried) learns about the past of her mother (Meryl Streep in present time, Lily James in flashbacks) while pregnant herself in this sequel to the Abba-fueled musical comedy. With Pierce Brosn...
Published: 07/18/18
Disney movie spent more than $134,000 while filming in Lakeland

Disney movie spent more than $134,000 while filming in Lakeland

When Walt Disney Studios filmed in Lakeland in June for its movie The One and Only Ivan, it brought actor Bryan Cranston to Polk County to star in the scenes.And the movie left behind an economic impact. In all, Disney spent $134,365 in Polk. Those n...
Published: 07/12/18
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3,’ ‘Skyscraper,’ ‘Sorry to Bother You’

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3,’ ‘Skyscraper,’ ‘Sorry to Bother You’

OPENING THURSDAY: HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATIONThe extended family of monsters heads out on a luxury cruise ship. Voices include Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Mel Brooks. Written by Genndy Tartakovsky, Michael McCullers. Directed ...
Published: 07/11/18
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp,’ ‘The First Purge,’ free Lynyrd Skynyrd documentary

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp,’ ‘The First Purge,’ free Lynyrd Skynyrd documentary

OPENING: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP Striving for a work-life balance proves elusive for Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), the superhero with the ability to shrink, when he is confronted with a new mission and a new partner, the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly). With Michael Pe...
Updated one month ago
Iron Man writer discusses new Ant-Man and what the future may hold for Tony Stark

Iron Man writer discusses new Ant-Man and what the future may hold for Tony Stark

Bob Layton is having a Hollywood moment. Actually, it’s more like a decade.The comic book artist, writer and editor now residing in the Tampa area has watched Iron Man — the character he turned from little known to mainstream hero — anchor the Marvel...
Updated one month ago
For Broadway fans, Capitol Theatre has a $5 summer movie series

For Broadway fans, Capitol Theatre has a $5 summer movie series

To build excitement for its fall series of Broadway shows at Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Capitol Theatre this summer will run a series of Tony winners that made it to the big screen. At $5 a ticket — $9 for unlimited fountain drinks and popcorn ­— it’s con...
Updated one month ago
Review: ‘Whitney’ documentary an unflinching look at Whitney Houston’s long downfall

Review: ‘Whitney’ documentary an unflinching look at Whitney Houston’s long downfall

There today is no singer like a young Whitney Houston. Beyoncé, Adele, Lady Gaga — maybe on their best days, they come close to matching the voice, the radiance, the potential of early Whitney. But not every day.Those highest highs, and the vast gap ...
Updated one month ago
Tarpon Springs’ Aaron Moorhead is an indie film darling, even if he won’t admit it

Tarpon Springs’ Aaron Moorhead is an indie film darling, even if he won’t admit it

Director Aaron Moorhead’s 2014 independent film Spring landed him on Hollywood trade publication Variety’s list of "Top 10 Directors to Watch in 2015."The Tarpon Springs native’s latest indie film, The Endless, released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 26,...
Updated one month ago
In theaters this week: ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado,’ ‘Uncle Drew’

In theaters this week: ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado,’ ‘Uncle Drew’

OPENING FRIDAY:SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADOThe cartels escalate the tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border when they begin trafficking terrorists in this sequel to the 2015 crime drama. With Benicio Del Toro, right, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey ...
Updated one month ago