Artworks with problematic creators
November 3, 2017 10:03 AM   Subscribe

After the LA Times reported how Disney uses its power to dodge paying its fair share of Anaheim local government, the company banned the newspaper from its press events, in effect preventing them from reviewing and reporting on their movies before public release.
posted by grobstein (24 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Report something like this and it's no Marvel movies for you:
Even if the parking garage fills just half its spaces, it would still generate more than $35 million in annual revenue and easily hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the structure.

That money all goes to Walt Disney Co. The city of Anaheim, which owns the garage and spent $108.2 million to build it, charges the company just $1 a year for the lease.
posted by grobstein at 10:05 AM on November 3 [31 favorites]


In fairness to Disney, it is probably really frustrating for global corporations that they have to be actually located in some specific place, with all the complications that entails. Like being a god who takes on human form and then gets a cold.
posted by officer_fred at 10:18 AM on November 3 [38 favorites]


This harkens back to Company Towns. Modern versions are like this -- one single employer with lots of employees and land/property holdings can really run a town. It's similar to the "when you owe the bank $1bill, that's the bank's problem". Towns that are unable to diversify are pretty much at the mercy of that company/industry.
posted by k5.user at 10:22 AM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Hmm, it's sure seeming like allowing people and corporate entities to accumulate billions of dollars which they then use to exert incredible influence over government and the media wasn't a great idea.
posted by Copronymus at 10:34 AM on November 3 [34 favorites]


I blame Luther. No Reformation no Dutch Calvinists no hegemony of the LLC.
posted by PMdixon at 10:38 AM on November 3 [12 favorites]


And people think I'm some sort of curmudgeon for hating the damn mouse and the politicians he owns. Fuck that, it's not ok to support the evil empires because your kids think it's fun.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:45 AM on November 3 [15 favorites]




Star Wars: Why US cinemas are refusing to show The Last Jedi

I read about the cinema requirements Disney is imposing for this, and it's left me wondering if our "traditional" method of seeing the new Star Wars films will work this year; we like to go in between Christmas and New Year's, when we are at my wife's family place in a rural area and going into town for dinner and a movie is a nice treat. I don't know that cinema will be showing the film this year.
posted by nubs at 10:54 AM on November 3


It's buried halfway through the article, but Disneyland brings in 43% of general fund, about $173m this year.

Also, before Disneyland, Anaheim's claim to fame was orange groves and once having a city council that was 4/5th members of the KKK.

Anaheim has spent a lot of trying to convince the world it's bigger than the business that keep its lights on (The Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim lol), but they can't make use of the advantages for decades and then decide later they aren't getting a large enough cut.

10 years from now we're going to this same article written about whatever city debases itself enough to get Amazon's "HQ2".
posted by sideshow at 11:04 AM on November 3 [13 favorites]


Star Wars: Why US cinemas are refusing to show The Last Jedi

FWIW, I am acquainted with a guy who owns and runs an independent small-town one-screen theater; He occasionally posts his observations on the business in a couple of movie-related groups I belong to on Facebook. According to him, going solely by the numbers involved, the requirements imposed by Disney on theaters showing TLJ are no worse than for The Force Awakens or Rogue One. We can certainly talk about how it affects theater owners as a long-term trend, but contrary to the reporting, it's not a new development at all.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:23 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


This is in line with the repeated observation that when municipalities welcome corporations because they will "bring revenue" and "hire locals" and "increase the tax base," no such thing actually happens. In fact, though Disney is very unlikely to leave Anaheim because the park is so land-based, what usually happens is that the corporations happily leave for another incentive package in another city (or country) as soon as their advantage runs out.
posted by Peach at 11:45 AM on November 3 [9 favorites]


According to him, going solely by the numbers involved, the requirements imposed by Disney on theaters showing TLJ are no worse than for The Force Awakens or Rogue One.

You could read the linked article:

Some owners are calling the terms "the most onerous they've ever seen", with Disney requiring 65 percent of ticket sales and a stipulation that the film be screened in the largest auditorium for at least five weeks.

This is in contrast to previous requirements of 64 percent of profits and four-week runs for previous Star Wars films. If a cinema fails to uphold the deal, they'll be subject to a five percent penalty - making Disney's total cut 70 percent of profits.

posted by srboisvert at 11:46 AM on November 3


"It's buried halfway through the article, but Disneyland brings in 43% of general fund, about $173m this year.
Also, before Disneyland, Anaheim's claim to fame was orange groves and once having a city council that was 4/5th members of the KKK.
Anaheim has spent a lot of trying to convince the world it's bigger than the business that keep its lights on (The Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim lol), but they can't make use of the advantages for decades and then decide later they aren't getting a large enough cut.
10 years from now we're going to this same article written about whatever city debases itself enough to get Amazon's "HQ2"."


This is not about whether Anaheim manages and applies its resources well. There are courts and elections to help sort that out.
This is about whether Disney pays its fair share to the localities where it makes its money. This stuff is not merit based.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:05 PM on November 3 [14 favorites]


The Times will continue to review and cover Disney movies and programs when they are available to the public.

no - you tell disney you're not reviewing ANY disney movies and programs and furthermore you won't accept any advertising regarding them, either from them or the theatres or the tv networks

when are we going to get a media that is willing to play hardball?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:09 PM on November 3 [8 favorites]


Wouldn't the LA Times just pan every Disney movie until Disney relented?
posted by Slinga at 1:17 PM on November 3


Considering how landbased Disney’s presence in Anaheim is, you’d think the city could hold them a little more hostage for stuff like this.
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on November 3 [5 favorites]


This is in line with the repeated observation that when municipalities welcome corporations because they will "bring revenue" and "hire locals" and "increase the tax base," no such thing actually happens.

From the article, 20% of the jobs in Anaheim are at Disney and 30-40% of the city's general fund comes from taxes Disney pays, so in this case they definitely brought revenue, hired locals and increased the tax base.

That said, if Disney barred the LA Times because of those stories (I'm curious how that's known), it's a really stupid, petty move. And exactly the wrong time to be attacking journalism, which needs extraordinary support right now.

If Disney didn't want bad press, they sure picked a strategy that will ensure they get 10x as much.

[I work for Disney.]
posted by jjwiseman at 1:48 PM on November 3 [7 favorites]


Anaheim has spent a lot of trying to convince the world it's bigger than the business that keep its lights on (The Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim lol), but they can't make use of the advantages for decades and then decide later they aren't getting a large enough cut.


Why can't they? Going by the article its not a legal obligation. Why shouldn't they milk Disney?
posted by biffa at 3:41 PM on November 3 [4 favorites]


I hope someday soon someone rewrites the tax code so that it is more difficult for corporations to shirk their tax liabilities.
posted by 4ster at 6:47 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


It's happening right now thanks to Paul Ryan! Soon it will be harder to shirk a tax liability of zero.
posted by benzenedream at 8:42 PM on November 3


when are we going to get a media that is willing to play hardball?

I have faith in the cockroaches' journalism that will come after us.
posted by PMdixon at 10:11 PM on November 3 [3 favorites]


Alyssa Rosenberg at the Washington Post has announced that she won't be attending any of Disney's press screenings until the LA Times ban is lifted. (Other critics at the Post will still write advance reviews.)

The AV Club and Flavorwire have also pledged not to attend Disney press screenings until the ban is lifted.
posted by ectabo at 6:41 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]






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