The Walt Disney Co. appears to have it in for the Los Angeles Times because of a negative story the newspaper ran about Disneyland. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the newspaper’s reporters and critics have been shut out from screenings of Disney movies amid hard feelings between the two organizations.
Much of the contentiousness appears to be focused on a story that ran Sept. 24 in the Times, under the headline “Is Disney paying its share in Anaheim?” Readers can click here to read the story.
Times writer Glenn Whipp recently tweeted: “The Los Angeles Times has been ‘put on pause’ by Disney, barring its reporters and critics from seeing its movies. Disney didn’t like the Times’ recent two-part story detailing Disneyland’s business ties with the city of Anaheim.”
THR adds: “Disney reportedly didn’t invite a Times reviewer to an advance screening of ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ but the retaliation apparently didn’t stop with that one film, and Whipp blames CEO Bob Iger for creating the dustup.”
Whipp said in a tweet that the decision is “significant because Iger is said to harbor political ambitions when he retires from Disney in 2019. Is this how Bob Iger would react to reporters asking tough questions should he run for office?”
The Times went public with the feud, posting a statement on its website saying: “The annual Holiday Movie Sneaks section published by the Los Angeles Times typically includes features on movies from all major studios, reflecting the diversity of films Hollywood offers during the holidays, one of the busiest box-office periods of the year. This year, Walt Disney Co. studios declined to offer The Times advance screenings, citing what it called unfair coverage of its business ties with Anaheim. The Times will continue to review and cover Disney movies and programs when they are available to the public.”
Disney subsequently issued its own statement, which you can see in full below. The company said in part: “We regularly work with news organizations around the world that we don’t always agree with, but in this instance the L.A. Times showed a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards.”
The statement adds that the Orange County Register referred to the Times report as “a hit piece.”
Here’s Disney’s full statement …