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 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.” 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 Sony group, also announced that it was suspending the launch of its films in theaters in Russia, including that of Morbius, its new blockbuster in the world of superheroes. Sony Pictures has justified in a press release its decision by “the military action which continues in Ukraine, the resulting uncertainty and the humanitarian crisis triggered in this region”. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected and we hope this crisis will be 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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