Over the last seven decades, Hollywood has served as the unofficial — but massively influential — propaganda arm of the US government. If national interests are so required, film studios will create wartime propaganda and or even, like we're witnessing today, pause theatrical releases in Russia.
The Walt Disney Company announced 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." Dinsey is the first major studio to protest Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine five days ago.
"We 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," the studio continued.
WarnerMedia, a division of AT&T Inc., followed next by announcing it would delay the release of "The Batman."
"In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film 'The Batman' in Russia," the studio said in a statement. "We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy."
And Sony is delaying all of its theatrical releases in the country, including the upcoming "Morbius."
The Motion Picture Association (MPA) said in a statement Monday that it "stands with the international community in upholding the rule of law and condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine."
"On behalf of our member companies, who lead the film, TV and streaming industry, we express our strongest support for Ukraine's vibrant creative community who, like all people, deserve to live and work peacefully," MPA said.
So whatever the US government is committed too, such as collapsing the Russian economy via a series of sanctions, you can bet Hollywood wouldn't be too far behind. And maybe as studios pause theatrical releases in the country, it's only a matter of time before studios gears up for pro-NATO-themed propaganda.