Posted July 23, 2018 04:59:37Disney is under fire for allegedly forcing critics to sit in a studio room for hours while it “tortured” them for reviews, an industry watchdog said on Wednesday.
“This is not something that should be allowed to continue,” said Sarah Wojcicki, the Consumer Watchdog’s consumer rights director.
“Disney’s conduct, if it was widespread, would be a matter for serious concerns,” she added.
Disney, which operates more than 70 major film studios in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, denied it had forced critics to endure a “painful and exhausting” process of sitting in the studio and in-house offices.
“No one is in a position to force others to do this,” said Disney spokeswoman Anne Stoeckley in a statement to the Associated Press.
“It’s unfortunate that Disney has been caught doing this to people who have made critical comments about their films,” she said.
Disney and its film and television studios have been under fire in recent years over their treatment of critics, who are paid about $5 million to review movies for the entertainment giant.
The criticism was sparked by a string of films such as The Interview and the movie The Avengers, which featured a scene in which a North Korean scientist and his assistant, who were filming an interview, are captured by a U.S. soldier.
Critics of the film and its controversial ending were critical of Disney’s treatment of the North Korean plot and the film’s treatment by U.K.-based studio Warner Bros.
A former employee of a studio that made the controversial movie, who asked not to be identified, said that at least five studios had contacted her after her work on the film was flagged up to Disney.
“The first time they talked to me was in August 2018.
They said, ‘I’m in touch with Disney, they need to talk to you’,” the former employee told Reuters.”
They said they’d be very upset with me if I were to make a film about the North Koreans, or any other country.
They basically said if you make a movie about the film, they’d just cut you out of their lineup.”
I thought, what’s happening here?
I’m being paid $5,000 a month and I’m working on a film that was never meant to be shown in a movie theater in the first place.
“So I called up a Disney representative and said, what is going on?
I don’t want to do anything that I can’t do myself.”
The former employee said that Disney’s response was to deny that any such situation had occurred.
The complaint against Disney was lodged by the Alliance for Accountability and the Film Industry (AAFII) and is part of a broad investigation into the way movie and TV producers, executives and executives of media companies are paid.
“What we know about the treatment of filmmakers and journalists by these companies is disturbing and appalling,” the AAFII said in a written statement.
“It’s clear that some Disney employees and studio executives are using their positions to coerce filmmakers and others who make critical statements against their company and their businesses.”
Disney has declined to comment on the complaint.
The Disney-produced film The Interview, which was released in the U.H.K., China and Singapore, was widely panned by critics and was deemed too violent for many audiences.
In the lead-up to its release, Disney pushed back on the criticism, saying it was a film made for entertainment purposes, not to hurt people.
“There are certainly things that are not funny in the movie.
There are things that were offensive to a certain audience,” the studio said in the release.”
We have made our decision to remove the film from the theatrical market, but we are continuing to monitor and evaluate the situation.
It is not clear how long it will take to clear the air.”ABC/wires