Netflix Joins Growing SXSW 2020 Exodus Over Coronavirus Worries

Streamer’s decision comes less than two hours after Apple cancels all SXSW events

Last Updated: March 13, 2020 @ 11:46 AM

Netflix has pulled out of South by Southwest 2020, an individual with knowledge of the matter tells TheWrap, joining the growing number of companies bolting the festival due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

The streamer had planned to screen five films — the romantic comedy “Uncorked,” and the documentaries “A Secret Love,” “L.A. Originals,” “Mucho Mucho Amor” and “Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics” — and hold a panel for the upcoming series “#Blackexcellence” featuring creators Kenya Barris and Rashida Jones. All events have been canceled.

Representatives for the South by Southwest festival did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap. But so far organizers have maintained that the event will happen as scheduled March 13-22, despite calls to cancel it, including a Change.org petition that has more than 46,000 signatures.

Netflix was the second company to pull out of SXSW on Wednesday alone, following Apple. But the two companies are far from the only participants to quit the festival. Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Vevo, Intel, China Gathering, Mashable, TikTok, SAP and The Latinx House have also all dropped out in recent days.

Netflix and Apple also join a wave of entertainment companies enacting strict measures in response to coronavirus on Wednesday that included: Sony’s decision to close three of its European offices for the rest of the week; MGM delaying the release of the new James Bond film “No Time to Die”; and the cancellations of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami and the MipTV conference in Cannes.

Variety first reported the news.