Not long after Disney barred the Los Angeles Times from advance screenings because it wasn't happy with an investigative series published about it in the paper, the company announced that it plans to expand its empire with the purchase of 21st Century Fox.
“The idea of a major, multinational conglomerate being that petty and vindictive and really engaging in an act of retribution against an outlet, and against reporters who had nothing to do with the thing that they were angry about, gave some insight into the length they were willing to go against anyone who didn’t toe the Disney company line,” Bailey said.
Some reporters noted that this is not a problem specific to Disney, but that in the world of entertainment journalism, your relationships with press representatives determine your access to interviews, film screenings, set visits, and other means of coverage.
One film writer pointed out that movie screenings and interview access to actors who are involved with the studio “aren’t exactly First Amendment rights,” but also said the way Disney Barred the LA Times “definitely continues to give me pause.”
Eric Kohn, deputy editor and chief film critic for Indiewire, said he’s not necessarily afraid of the Disney and Fox consolidation, but that he is concerned on some level because of the recent LA Times barring.
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