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Disney Halts All Business in Russia; Including Linear TV, National Geographic

Matt Tamanini

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, we have seen waves of companies ceasing varying aspects of operations in Vladimir Putin’s country. Just days after the invasion, Disney became the first studio to delay their theatrical releases in Russia, and on Thursday, the company announced that they would halt all business across all of their individual brands in the country.

This move will impact local content creation, linear television channels, Disney Cruise Lines, National Geographic, product licensing, and more.

“Given the unrelenting assault on Ukraine and the escalating humanitarian crisis, we are taking steps to pause all other businesses in Russia,” Disney 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.

“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.”

Earlier on Thursday, WarnerMedia announced that following its initial halting of theatrical releases, the company would be ending all of its business in Russia as well. They join the likes of Discovery, Netflix, Amazon, and more to announce similar stoppages in recent days.

Though the Russian impact is a very small percentage on Disney’s overall bottom line, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (a co-production between Disney’s Marvel and Sony) grossed nearly $45 million in the country.

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