Netflix Cancels SXSW Screenings and Panels Due to Coronavirus Fears

Netflix is the latest company to withdraw from SXSW 2020 amid rising concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. According to Variety, the streaming giant is cancelling a panel for its #BlackExcellence series as well as screenings for the film Uncorked as well as documentaries A Secret Love, L.A. Originals, Mucho Mucho Amor, and Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics. News of Netflix's withdrawal from the upcoming festival comes soon after Apple also withdrew from SXSW which itself follows cancellations by Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon Studios.

SXSW is the latest festival or major event to be hit with significant cancellations due to concerns over the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Emerald City Comic Con in Washington has also been hit with some major cancellations with Dark Horse Comics, DC, Penguin Random House, and Oni Press all cancelling their appearances at the event as cases of -- and deaths from -- COVID-19 continue to rise. Emerald City Comic Con is still going forward as scheduled, though they are offering refunds to guests and staff due to the concerns.

The coronavirus -- officially named SARS-CoV-2 -- was first detected in China in late 2019. Since its detection, the disease it causes (coronavirus disease 2019, aka COVID-19) has begun to spread worldwide with varying impacts on the entertainment industry. Back in February, Italian production on Mission: Impossible 7 was shut down due to an outbreak. In recent weeks, there have been increasing numbers of cases confirmed across the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control advising against "Nonessential Travel" due to "Widespread Community Transmission" of the illness.

COVID-19 has infected more than 90,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,000 of those infected. In addition to the disruption of festivals and conventions, the spread of the virus has also seen the cancellation of the premiere of Superman: Red Son, the delay of the Chinese premiere of Mulan, and even the WWE is monitoring the spread of the virus in Tampa Bay, Florida, the site of WrestleMania 36. On Wednesday, London Book Fair was cancelled due to concerns over the virus and even Star Wars Baby Yoda toys could be delayed due to the virus.


At the time of this article's writing, Texas as 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19. SXSW is still scheduled to take place March 13-22 in Austin, TX.

What do you think about Netflix pulling out of SXSW? Let us know in the comments below.

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