Sony the Latest to Stop All Entertainment Releases in Russia, Removes Crunchyroll Streaming Service
Looks like Russian citizens will not be able to enjoy Sony anything for a while as the company goes dark, three weeks after Russia invades Ukraine. Not only has Sony Pictures Entertainment paused the release of the upcoming premiere of Jared Leto’s “Morbius” and other upcoming theatrical films, but the country will also be shunned from upcoming home entertainment releases, including “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” In addition, its anime streaming service Crunchyroll will be suspended as well.
The timing of the Crunchyroll suspension comes after Sony’s $1.175 billion deal to buy the platform in August 2021. The company started moving titles from its Funimation catalog over to the service at the beginning of March. Crunchyroll will not be charging Premium subscribers in Russia while the platform is unavailable in the country.
In a memo, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra said, “We stand with many businesses around the world who have now paused their business operations in Russia, and in support of the humanitarian efforts currently underway in Ukraine and the surrounding region.” The company sends “thoughts and prayers” to everyone impacted by the conflict and hopes, “that a peaceful resolution can be found soon,” Vinciquerra said.
Earlier this week, Sony-owned PlayStation suspended all sales and shipments to the country. Plus, on Thursday, Sony’s music division announced that it’s shutting down its operations in Russia. Sony Group Corporation has donated $2 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the international NGO Save the Children to provide humanitarian aid to those in Ukraine.
As Disney, Amazon, Netflix, WarnerMedia, Samsung, Roku, Microsoft, Discovery, and many other companies cease operations, the fallout of Vladimir Putin’s military decisions continues to weigh on ordinary Russians.