Disney, Warner, Sony halt release of films in Russia
Warner Bros, Disney, and Sony have halted the release of films in Russian cinemas, after the special military operation in Ukraine.
The Walt Disney Company has announced that it will suspend theatrical film releases in Russia due to the Ukraine crisis, making it the first Hollywood studio to do so.
Disney tweeted on Monday that "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."
The company also stated that it collaborates with non-governmental organizations "to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees."
Disney further added that future decisions would be made "based on the evolving situation."
Both Warner Bros. and Sony followed suit, according to The Hollywood Reporter, announcing similar moves later on Monday.
In a statement quoted by The Hollywood Reporter, a WarnerMedia spokesperson said: "In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia."
Morbius' release in Russia has been paused, according to Sony.
Furthermore, a Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson said that "given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the resulting uncertainty and humanitarian crisis unfolding in that region, we will be pausing our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of Morbius."
The Batman was supposed to open in Russia this week, Morbius was supposed to open at the end of March, and Disney and Pixar's Turning Red was supposed to open on March 10.
Western nations have stepped up sanctions against Russia after it launched a special military operation in Ukraine in response to requests for assistance from the people's republics in Donbas.
The #West is, once again, using economic sanctions to smother nations whose actions do not align with their imperialist plans.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) March 1, 2022
The Central Bank of #Russia announced that its financial infrastructure will work with no hindrances.#Ukraine #RussiaUkraine pic.twitter.com/zWApev2Adk
The Russian Defense Ministry has affirmed that the operation is only aimed to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine. The special operation is only targeting Ukrainian military facilities, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, and the civilian population is not at risk. Moscow has stated that it has no intention of occupying Ukraine.