Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix withdraw from SXSW over coronavirus concerns

Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix withdraw from SXSW over coronavirus concerns
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The cancellations come roughly two weeks before the start of the annual gathering.

Amazon Studios won’t be going to the SXSW conference and festivals, making it the latest company to cancel its presence amid growing coronavirus concerns. Earlier this week, TwitterFacebook and TikTok said they wouldn’t attend the massive culture and tech event.

The big conference, also known as South by Southwest, is scheduled from March 13 to March 22 in Austin, Texas. The drop in participation from major tech companies raises questions about whether SXSW will be canceled in the weeks before it’s scheduled to kick off. More than 25,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling for the cancellation of SXSW. On Wednesday, however, Austin health officials said SXSW would go on as planned.

Netflix on Wednesday reportedly canceled its plans for the festival, including five film screenings. The streaming service was expected to show Uncorked and four documentaries: A Secret Love, L.A. Originals, Mucho Mucho Amor, Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, according to Variety . Amazon on Wednesday reportedly canceled all its plans for SXSW, including screenings and panels for two upcoming Amazon Prime Video series as well as an event with magazine Entertainment Weekly. Netflix and Amazon didn’t immediately respond to requests for additional information.

Apple has also reportedly withdrawn, canceling plans to screen three new Apple TV Plus originals at the festival, including the world premiere of Spike Jonze’s documentary Beastie Boys Story.

On Monday, a Facebook spokesperson said that “due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year.” The spokesperson couldn’t provide details about the number of employees who’d been expected to attend SXSW.

Source: CNET

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