Canadian distributor Alliance Atlantis has banned critics from the Globe and Mail newspaper from its advance previews.
According to a source at the newspaper, Globe reviewers stopped receiving invitations to screenings during the past week. When they made inquiries, they were told the paper was banned for the foreseeable future. The source said Alliance was unhappy with the paper's review of Sex And The City by critic Rick Groen and a negative column about the film by columnist Johanna Schneller.
The ban was to begin Wednesday night with a screening of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, starring Abigail Breslin and directed by Toronto filmmaker Patricia Rozema; however Rozema personally invited the Globe critics to the screening.
Speaking to ScreenDaily.com Wednesday night she said she was appalled by the distributor's move. 'You can't censor opinion like that. I've never had a good review from the Globe in my life but they have a right to be there.'
The Globe and Mail's editor Edward Greenspon was understood to be consulting with other editors of Toronto-based papers, including the Toronto Star, the National Post and the Toronto Sun.
It's by no means the first time Toronto critics have raised the ire of distributors. In 2004, Warner Bros. Canada barred then-Toronto Star film critic Geoff Pevere from an interview with Colin Farrell following a negative review of Alexander.
An Alliance spokesperson was unavailable for comment at time of going to press.