Disney is now pausing all of its business in Russia amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, calling Vladimir Putin’s actions an “unrelenting assault on Ukraine.”
Disney’s pause of business includes any content and product licensing, Disney Cruise Line activities, National Geographic magazine and tours, local content productions and linear channels. The statement specifies that some business activities can be paused immediately while others will take time “given contractual complexities.”
Disney adds that any colleagues in Russia will remain employed and it will still work with NGO partners in providing aid to refugees. The news follows Disney’s previous plan to pause the theatrical release of its films in Russia, including this week’s “Turning Red” from Pixar.
“Given the unrelenting assault on Ukraine and the escalating humanitarian crisis, we are taking steps to pause all other businesses in Russia,” a spokesperson for the Walt Disney Company said in a statement. “Some of those business activities we can and will pause immediately. Others—such as linear channels and some content and product licensing—will take time given contractual complexities.”
They continued: “Even as we pause these businesses, we remain committed to our dedicated colleagues in Russia, who will remain employed. And we continue to work with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other much-needed assistance to refugees.”
Other companies in Hollywood and beyond Hollywood have also taken such steps amid the ongoing war. Discovery, WarnerMedia, Amazon and media companies such as The New York Times, CNN, ABC News and CBS News have all suspended operations in Russia, as well as other reactions from Sony, Universal Music Group and many more.
Russia has specifically targeted media companies with a new law that threatens prison time for journalists reporting on military activity in Ukraine, and it has forced some of the last independent Russian media operations to shut down, including the TV station Dozhd and the radio station Ekho Moskvy. Other sites have either been blocked or access to social media networks appears to have been slowed down in the country.