Sony pulls Crunchyroll, home entertainment releases from Russia
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has suspended all operations in Russia, halting home entertainment releases, such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, and temporarily blocking access to its anime streaming service, Crunchyroll, according to a report from Variety. The move will also pause any TV distribution deals in the country.
“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,” SPE CEO Tony Vinciquerra said in an email to employees seen by Variety. “We have also halted our planned home entertainment releases, including ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ and any future television distribution deals. And just this morning, Crunchyroll suspended its anime streaming service in Russia”
Sony, which owns anime streaming service Funimation, purchased Crunchyroll last August and later announced that it would be merging both services — a process that has already started taking place. As pointed out by ComicBook.com, a translated message on Crunchyroll’s Russian website says that it’s “forced to suspend its work in Russia,” and notes that users won’t be charged for their subscriptions while the service goes dark in the country. Funimation already isn’t available in Russia.
Sony already pulled Morbius and other future theatrical releases from Russia last month, with the Sony-owned PlayStation suspending all sales and shipments to the country early this week. Sony’s music division announced that it’s shutting down its operations in Russia on Thursday.
In addition to Sony, entertainment giants spanning television, movies, and gaming have also yanked sales and services from Russia, including Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount, Universal, Netflix, and quite a few major gaming companies.