Hollywood Reporter – On Monday, culture site The A.V. Club and entertainment site Flavorwire joined a Washington Post writer in pledging solidarity with the Los Angeles Times until Disney drops a temporary ban on access for the newspaper.
“The A.V. Club will follow The Washington Post’s lead and — effective immediately — we will refrain from attending any press screenings of Disney movies, at least until the company rescinds its ban on The Los Angeles Times,” read a post by A.V. Club film editor A.A. Dowd.
The tiff came into public view on Friday, when the Times publicized the situation in a note to readers and Disney put out a statement accusing the newspaper of showing “a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards” in a recent series of stories about the company’s business relationship with its home in Anaheim.
“For as long as Disney locks out the Los Angeles Times, this outlet will withhold the only thing we have of value to that studio: the free advertising provided by not only reviewing their films, but write-ups of their trailers, production announcements, casting rumors, and so on,” Flavorwire film editor Jason Bailey wrote. “We will not cover any Disney releases, nor those of subsidiaries Marvel or Lucasfilm (no, not even that one) as long as the Times ban stands.”
Alyssa Rosenberg, who writes about movies and television as a pop culture blogger for TheWashington Post, announced that she won’t attend screenings anymore. “As long as Disney is blocking the critics from the Los Angeles Times from press screenings, I can’t in good conscience attend similar showings or write reviews in advance,” she wrote.
I’ve seen a bunch of these news stories the past day or so and think these people are kind of dumb. Is it completely fucked up what Disney is doing (if it’s true)? Yes absolutely. Is it possible to not review any Disney owned entertainment and still write about enough things people care about that you’ll get traffic to your site? Abso-fucking-lutely not. In an ideal world these people would be able to make their stand and everything would be great. But news flash: we live in the real world not your perfect world and in the real world Disney owns everything. Seriously, look at this Wikipedia page. They own EVERYTHING. Hell there are rumors floating around this week that Disney might buy 21 Century Fox! So to all these reviewers who are taking a stand against Disney I really hope you guys understand that you’re being idiots and letting what’s looking to be a hit piece effect your business.
Oh what’s that? You didn’t know it might be a hit piece that omitted several key pieces of information that are vital and counter to its argument?
Well let’s start with the fact that Disney is personally insuring half the loan when they are directly benefiting from around 20% of the loan. About $400M of the $500M bond is directly benefiting Anaheim by improving local infrastructure and building up the Anaheim convention center. This point seems to be lightly glossed over and the focus point is instead the $100M that goes to Disney.
The Times article also separates out the fact that Disneyland paid $125M in taxes for 2016. In this way, the facts are used as fear mongering (oh no the parking lot cost $100M!!!) when the tax revenue that it generates in a single year far exceeds this cost.
This is in addition to the additional 3 billion or so in tourism that Disneyland brings in. You can argue the merits of giving a subsidy, but it’s hard to truly say that subsidizing the garage isn’t worth the additional income.
AND before you give them grief about the ticket taxes know that no amusement park in Southern California pays ticket taxes. Despite this, the article references a completely different region of California (San Fran) and does not highlight that theme parks owned by other companies in the same area receive the exact same treatment. I could agree with the statement that all amusement parks should pay this tax but it’s disingenuous and to say only Disney isn’t paying enough when everyone isn’t. In addition it seems like the entire SoCal region has agreed to make theme parks a large tourist draw.
I dug all this up in 30 minutes of searching on Google. Seriously, I know people always think major corporations are fucked and out to get you but here’s a newsflash. There isn’t some secret plan to fuck over the little guy. They just want to make a profit and honestly there are a ton of other companies out there who do less for the world than Disney. Now check out the trailer for Star Wars and get pumped it’s only 1.5 months away!