Walt Disney Co. has prevented Los Angeles Times entertainment reporters from reviewing its holiday movies because it is not happy with the paper’s coverage of its business dealings with the city of Anaheim.
Erik Wemple of the Washington Post reports, “The Los Angeles Times has just published its 2017 Holiday Movie Preview. Prominently featured is this note warning readers about a rather large and unfortunate omission from the reviews:
Times note on Disney blackout
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.
“That Anaheim story, published in two parts under the byline of Daniel Miller, with a third story by Priya Krishnakumar, Daniel Miller and Ben Poston, highlights the mismatch that occurs when a giant conglomerate negotiates on taxes and incentives with a municipality. ‘Over the last two decades or so, as Disney’s annual profit has soared, the company has secured subsidies, incentives, rebates and protections from future taxes in Anaheim that, in aggregate, would be worth more than $1 billion, according to public policy experts who have reviewed deals between the company and the city,’ notes the investigation. Disney responded, ‘Disneyland Resort has played a pivotal role in Anaheim as a job creator and economic engine.'”
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