The Walt Disney Company announced on Monday that it would stop releasing new films in Russia in response to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming Turning Red from Pixar,” a spokesperson for Disney said.
Disney said it will make future business decisions “based on the evolving situation.”
“In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees,” its company’s statement said.
It became one of the first major movie production studios to halt the release of films in Russia due to the Ukraine invasion.
Responding to Disney’s announcement, Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) challenged the company to also pause film distribution in China over the communist regime’s dismal human rights record.
“Now do China… where you are making big $$$,” he wrote on Twitter.
Hours after Disney’s announcement, Warner Bros. parent company WarnerMedia said on Twitter that it will be pausing the release of its feature film “The Batman” in Russia “in light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.”
“We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy,” the company said in a statement.
Sony has also said it won’t be releasing films in the country.
Putin on Feb. 24 authorized a “special military operation” in Ukraine to eliminate what he called a serious threat, saying his aim was to demilitarize Russia’s southern neighbor.
In an address on state television, Putin said he had been left with no choice but to launch the operation.
“Its goal is to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide… for the last eight years. And for this we will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.
“And to bring to court those who committed numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.”
Andreas Umland, an analyst at the Stockholm Center for Eastern European Studies (SCEEUS), told DW that talk of “Nazism” in Ukraine is “completely out of place.”
“The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, is a Russian-speaking Jew who won the last presidential election by a huge margin against a non-Jewish Ukrainian candidate,” Umland said.
The Auschwitz Memorial and the U.S. Holocaust Museum were quick to condemn Putin’s rhetoric and his “exploitation of history as a false justification for his military campaign.”
“This act of barbarity will be judged by history,” the Auschwitz Memorial said in a statement on Feb. 24.
From The Epoch Times