Netflix and HBO's WarnerMedia are latest to nix SXSW plans in wake of coronavirus
UPDATE: Ozzy Osbourne announced he is bowing out of SXSW in a statement from his rep released on Thursday. He was scheduled to attend the world premiere screening of A&E's Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne, a two-hour documentary special.
"Following recent cancellations by major corporations, artists, record companies, and studios because of the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, Ozzy Osbourne has likewise decided to cancel his upcoming appearance at SXSW," the statement from his rep reads.
Around the same time, Starz and Lionsgate joined the other studios dropping their plans. Screenings of The Quarry and Arkansas will continue at SXSW as planned, but Lionsgate Home Entertainment will no longer be sending staff or talent. Starz pulled the Power panel and a screening of series Hightown.
EARLIER: All it took was one.
After Amazon announced it would pull out of the SXSW Film Festival this month in Austin, Texas, other studios are now following suit in the wake of coronavirus fears. The latest are Netflix, WarnerMedia, and Apple, EW has learned.
Netflix pulled screenings of the film Uncorked and documentaries A Secret Love, L.A. Originals, Mucho Mucho Amor, and Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics. The streamer also canceled its March 15 panel with Kenya Barris and Rashida Jones on the series Black Excellence.
As for WarnerMedia, the parent company of HBO and HBO Max announced in a statement Thursday that it moved "not to move forward with activations at SXSW" as a precaution. The company had been considering a Westworld season 3 screening, but one never became official, EW has learned. It's unclear if this also relates to planned screenings and panels. A rep for HBO did not immediately respond to requests for clarification.
WarnerMedia also includes CNN, which will be pulling "activations."
Apple also canceled the world premiere of Beastie Boys documentary Beastie Boys Story, as well as screenings of animated musical series Central Park and docu-series Home.
There are 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of Texas, and Austin is testing multiple patients for the respiratory illness.
Twitter and Facebook were among companies who pulled their planned presence at the annual SXSW festival in the preceding weeks.
In a press conference held on Wednesday, Dr. Mark Escott, director of Austin Public Health, said there's currently no evidence that would suggest canceling "mass events" like SXSW would make the community safer. "If there's any evidence that our community will be safer by closing down public events, we will do that." As is the general outlook on the situation, he noted re-evaluation comes on a case-by-case basis.
As of now, SXSW will go on as planned from Friday, March 13 to Sunday, March 22.
This article has been updated on March 6, 2020.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated HBO planned a SXSW Westworld activation. They were instead considering planning a season 3 screening that ultimately never became official.