Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con has been canceled over fears regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Over the last week, numerous cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the western Washington area, including some deaths, according to local FOX affiliate Q13.
Initially, on Wednesday, organizers offered refunds to those who had pre-purchased tickets, but after over 10,000 people requested said refunds within 24 hours (per the Seattle Times), the decision was made to pull the plug entirely. 75,000 tickets had been pre-sold and over 100,000 attendees were expected. President Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow is advising all to avoid traveling to the Seattle area for the time being.
According to organizers:
“We did everything that we could to run the event as planned, but ultimately, we are following the guidance of the local public health officials indicating that conventions should now be postponed.
“Our hearts go out to the entire Seattle community, everyone impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and all of you, the nearly 100,000 amazing human beings who look forward to this event each year.”
Public health officials have urged locals to avoid public gatherings and transportation. Everyone that pre-purchased tickets will be refunded within 30 days even without requests.
Prior to this announcement, over 85 vendors had already pulled out. Mark Ruffalo and Michael J. Fox were among the A-List stars that were scheduled to appear.
DC Comics has already announced that it will not be sending representatives to any cons at least during the month of March, including Emerald City Comic Con. DC also canceled the premiere of the animated movie ‘Superman: Red Son’ in New York, scheduled for March 16.
The next major convention is Anaheim, California’s WonderCon, set for April 10-12. All eyes, from fans to pros, will have their eyes peeled to see how this coronavirus outbreak develops in the coming month.
And of course, the big test will be San Diego Comic-Con International, scheduled for July 23-26. Will one of the biggest pop culture events of the year fall victim? We’ll have to wait and see.
But elsewhere in pop culture, the COVID-19 epidemic has already resulted in a lower-than-average box office performance of would-be hit movies, as the Asian market has been hit so hard. As a result, MGM has postponed the release of the 25th James Bond film, ‘No Time To Die’. Some now wonder if other major studios will also delay the release of potential summer blockbusters. The latest ‘Mission: Impossible’ has shut down production in Italy, which has also been hit hard by the virus. CBS reality show ‘The Amazing Race’ has also ceased production, and the network isn’t moving forward with a new season of ‘Survivor’ for the time being. And Disney canceled a planned press junket to promote the expansion of Disney+ in Europe.
Check back for other news about the coronavirus and its impact on the world of entertainment. And in the meantime, wash your damn hands!