Disney and Sony suspend the release of their films in Russia

Posted 01 March, 2022

Entertainment giants Disney and Sony Pictures suspended theatrical release of their films in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, emulating other companies that chose to disengage, temporarily or otherwise, from the country.

"Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are suspending the theatrical release of films in Russia, including Pixar's upcoming Red Alert," Disney said in a statement Monday.

“We will make future business decisions based on how the situation develops,” it added.

In the meantime, Disney says it is working with NGOs to provide emergency aid and other forms of humanitarian assistance to refugees.

Sony Pictures, a subsidiary of the Japanese group Sony, also announced in the process that it was suspending the launch of its films in theaters in Russia, including that of "Morbius", its new blockbuster in the universe of superheroes.

Sony Pictures justified its decision in a press release by "the continuing military action in Ukraine, the resulting uncertainty and the humanitarian crisis unleashed in this region".

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected and we hope this crisis is resolved quickly," Sony Pictures added.

Other multinationals have distanced themselves from Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft took steps on Monday to limit the dissemination of information from news outlets affiliated with the Russian government.

Much more drastically, the British oil companies BP and Shell have announced that they are parting with their shares in joint projects with Russian groups in Russia.

For some foreign companies, however, disengaging from Russia overnight, by closing factories or supermarkets, remains difficult.

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