We are swiftly moving towards Hollywood’s award season, but one Hollywood giant is finding themselves persona non grata by some critics groups. We aren’t talking about Weinstein or Spacey. We’re talking about Mickey.
Amidst all the news of the potential acquisition of FOX by Disney, there is another story developing at the studio.It seems that after some negative articles about the company in the LA Times, film critics from the paper were banned from advanced screenings of films. Sure, they’d still be able to review Disney films, but they’d have to go see them after they opened. Not surprisingly, however, this move struck a pretty sour chord with the majority of the critics community and has brought forward consequences that the house of mouse was probably not expecting.
You see, the articles in question didn’t even have anything to do with Disney movies, so the direction in which the company chose to lash out was just dumb, especially since critics can hold the keys to your opening box office take as well as all the extra sales you can get after winning some of the prestigious critics awards. You’d have to imagine they were pretty shocked when it came down that 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 joined together to announce that they will not consider any Disney films for consideration of awards until the ban is lifted. Other, individual critics came forward with harsher personal bans. Specifically, they threatened to not review Star Wars: The Last Jedi or any other Disney film until the ban was lifted.
It’s not surprising that by the end of business today, Disney had backed down. They released this statement through 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.
So, they are technically in the clear, but critics hold grudges. I’m sure that Disney will still have a fine showing at the People’s Choice Awards and at the Academy Awards (where many members would like to be in or work on Disney films), but I would not be surprised if critics leave Mickey, Marvel and Maz Kanata out in the cold when it comes time for their annual considerations.