*Amid increasing backlash and calls for boycotts, the Walt Disney Company has backed off an earlier ban it had instituted against the Los Angeles Times, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The studio is still in its feelings about what it considered a biased story critical of taxpayer money going to Disneyland in Anaheim, but it has now done away with its directive that had barred L.A. Times reporters from Disney movie screenings.
Disney said in a statement on Tuesday: “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’s reversal of strategy comes as journalists and filmmakers express their solidarity with the L.A. Times. Several reporters, for example, have said they’ll refrain from reviewing Disney movies for as long as Disney’s boycott is in place, a development that prompted its “A Wrinkle in Time” director Ava DuVernay to tweet: “Saluting the film journalists standing up for one another. Standing with you.”
Also, the New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critic Association and Boston Society of Film Critics issued a joint statement saying that Disney’s response to a story in the L.A. Times that it did not like “should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included.”