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That was quick: Disney ends L.A. Times blacklist after backlash from film critics

That was quick: Disney ends L.A. Times blacklist after backlash from film critics
[Photo: David McNew/Getty Images]

After news broke that the Walt Disney Company was barring Los Angeles Times writers from attending press screenings of upcoming movies, the film community quickly pounced. What started with a few lone writers refusing to write advance coverage of any Disney film blossomed into a full-blown protest. The New York Times, the A.V. Club, and the Boston Globe all announced that they would not attend Disney screenings, and critics’ organizations around the country said they wouldn’t honor the company with future awards.

Disney initially blacklisted the L.A. Times because it was unhappy with the paper’s coverage of its business dealings with the city of Anaheim, California. But now it was dealing with an escalating backlash–and a show of solidarity among press outlets–that it likely hadn’t anticipated.

In response, the company has caved to the pressure: It told the New York Times today that it would once again let L.A. Times writers attend screenings. “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,” the company said in a statement to the New York Times.

In a world where the free press is crumbling, the industry can rejoice in this one small win.

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