A frame from the Pixar cartoon Blushing.
The Walt Disney Company will suspend the release of all future theatrical films in Russia following the country’s attack on Ukraine.
“Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are suspending the release of theatrical films in Russia, including Pixar’s upcoming Blush,” the company said in a statement Monday. “We will make future business decisions depending on how the situation develops.
“In the meantime, given the scale of emerging refugee crises, we are working with our NGO partners to provide refugees with emergency relief and other humanitarian assistance,” Disney said.
Disney is the first major Hollywood studio to take a hard line on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Warner Bros., for example, is expected to bring Batman to the country this week.
Although ticket sales in Russia are not as significant as in China, it is still an important market for Disney. Spider-Man: No Way Home, a co-production with Sony, grossed over $50 million in the country.
Disney’s decision to pull back from releases in Russia comes amid a wave of other boycotts from the entertainment industry.
Streaming giant Netflix has said it will not abide by Russian rules on news channels amid an escalating Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” a Netflix spokesperson told CNBC Monday. The decision came after a wave of Russian state-backed news broadcasts circulated Russian propaganda justifying the war that Moscow unleashed in Ukraine last week.
Sports organizations and professional athletes are also hitting Russia with their sanctions. The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) has joined the Union of European Football Associations to announce this. would ban Russian teams from events including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar until further notice.
The National Hockey League, which consists of more than two dozen players of Russian origin, has suspended agreements with Russian companies, as well as with the International Olympic Committee. recommended to ban Russian teams from competitions for violating the “Olympic Truce”.