Disney has ended its blacklisting of the Los Angeles 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 provided to the New York Times.
The dispute between the LA Times and Disney was over an investigation into Disney’s sweetheart deals with the city of Anaheim, CA, where Disneyland resides. An article published by the Times alleges that Disneyland, and by proxy the company, has been vacuuming untold millions in subsidies, grants, and exemptions from Anaheim that would benefit the town and instead serve as further profit for one of the most lucrative corporations in the world. The piece goes on to detail Disney’s history of political influence over the city, and the recent pushback from some local officials against what many see as an escalating series of unreasonable benefits for Disney at the expense of the greater population.
In response, Disney barred the publication’s critics from attending advance screenings of its upcoming films, such as Coco and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The boycott sparked outrage among film critics and journalists nationwide, with The Washington Post, the New York Times and The A.V. Club each announcing their own boycott of Disney in solidarity of the L.A. Times. Earlier Tuesday, four national film critics organizations also joined the protests, saying they refused to consider any of Disney’s 2017 film releases for eligibility in their year-end awards voting. Even filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who is helming A Wrinkle in Time for Disney, publicly voiced her support for the Times. It seems the mounting pressure finally got to Disney, who reversed its decision on Tuesday afternoon.