Ava DuVernay, the director of Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, said last night she would be “standing with” the Washington Post‘s critic-at-large in boycotting Disney’s screenings.
Post pop culture writer Alyssa Rosenberg wrote that she would not attend screenings for such hotly anticipated films Star Wars, Episode VIII–The Last Jedi, or Marvel’s Black Panther, so long as Disney continues to block advance access to critics from the Los Angeles Times.
Members of 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 issued a statement early this morning, denouncing Disney’s media blackout. The critics’ organizations voted to disqualify Disney’s films from year-end awards consideration until the blackout is publicly rescinded.
DuVernay applauded the show of solidarity and announced on Twitter that she would “stand with” the journalists in protesting Disney’s retaliatory move–a decision that won immediate praise from social media followers, who praised her for “putting what’s right ahead of what’s personally beneficial.”
Disney cut off the Times‘ access in response to an investigation into Disney’s business dealings with Anaheim, which the media giant claimed was “biased and inaccurate … wholly driven by a political agenda,” The investigation, the product of a lengthy reporting process, has not been corrected.
The critics called Disney’s freeze-out “antithetical to the principles of a free press and set a dangerous precedent in a time of already heightened hostility toward journalists.”
The Television Critics Association’s executive board added its voice to those criticizing Disney’s actions.
“The Television Critics Association understands that screeners and coverage opportunities are a privilege and not a right,” said TCA President Daniel J. Fienberg, in a statement. “But we condemn any circumstance in which a company takes punitive action against journalists for doing their jobs.”