From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.
HARRY AND MEGHAN POST HOPEFUL MESSAGE
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, are urging people to show “empathy and kindness” in the face of the pandemic.
The couple took to Instagram on Wednesday to post a statement
“This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit. We often speak of compassion. All of our lives are in some way affected by this, uniting each of us globally,” they said.
“How we approach each other and our communities with empathy and kindness is indisputably important right now.”
Harry and Meghan told followers they’ll be sharing trustful news and informing the public of safe and healthy practices.
Starting at the end of this month, the Sussexes will no longer use their royal titles and pursue a new life of financial freedom in North America.
BRINGING IT HOME WITH BACON
Kevin Bacon is trying to spread six degrees of safety by encouraging his followers to stay home.
Bacon took to his couch and his Twitter account to make a video saying who he’s staying home to protect from the coronavirus outbreak. He suggests others do the same, and tag six people they name with the hashtag #IStayHomeFor.
“You know me, right? I’m technically only six degrees away from you,” Bacon says in his video. “The contact you make with someone, and the contact they make with someone else, that may be what makes somebody’s mom, or wife, or grandpa, sick.”
He says he’s staying home for, among others, his wife, actress Kyra Sedgewick.
“Since we’re all connected by various degrees — trust me I know — we can work together to stay home and spread the word,” Bacon says.
The Eurovision Song Contest has been canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
The organizers of the event that was to have been staged in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam in May announced the decision Wednesday “with deep regret” blaming “uncertainty created by the spread” of the virus and restrictions imposed by governments across Europe.
Organizers said the contest that pits performers and songs representing countries from around Europe and further afield against one another has been broadcast for 64 years without interruption “and we, like the millions of fans around the world, are extremely saddened that it cannot take place in May.”
Dutch singer Duncan Laurence won last year’s contest, earning the Netherlands the right to stage this year’s event.
The European Broadcasting Union says it will continue talks with Dutch host broadcasters and Rotterdam authorities about hosting of the contest in 2021.
GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL SKIPS 2020
One of Britain’s biggest summer music events, the Glastonbury Festival, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers say the festival, due to take place June 24-28, would be postponed until 2021.
Glastonbury organizers Michael Eavis and Emily Eavis said there would “inevitably be severe financial implications” for staff, suppliers, charities supported by Glastonbury and more. But they said there was no choice but to call off the festival in light of government advice for people to avoid contact with others.
Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, the Pet Shop Boys and Paul McCartney were among the acts announced for the 50th anniversary edition of the music extravaganza.
The festival takes over Worthy Farm in southwest England every June. The 135,000 tickets for this year’s event sold within an hour of going on sale.
BONNAROO ALSO RESCHEDULED
The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will be rescheduled to take place Sept. 24-27 “out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of all Bonnaroovians, artists, staff and our community.”
The festival in a statement said all current tickets and onsite accommodations will be honored for the new weekend. Fans with off-site accommodations and shuttles purchased through the festival will be contacted directly with updates.
The festival normally takes place in June in Manchester, Tennessee, and this year had attracted Lizzo, Vampire Weekend, Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey and Tool.
PLAYWRIGHTS FIGHT BACK
The Dramatists Guild is pushing back against any theater producers asking playwrights to return advances for shows that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
“Options and advances paid to dramatists are not returnable,” the guild said in a statement Wednesday. “Stop scapegoating the dramatists at this unprecedented time.”
The guild had this guidance: “Our advice to dramatists confronted by these demands is to just say no, with the full knowledge that it was unfair for you to be put in this position in the first place.”
The strong statement came after two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage tweeted that some playwrights were being asked to return payments. “I’m totally sympathetic to the plight of theaters, but to ask artists for money back during this heightened insecurity is tone deaf,” she wrote.
BRITAIN’S SOAPS SUSPEND PRODUCTION
Britain’s beloved soap operas are falling victim to the new coronavirus.
The BBC says it is suspending production on shows including the prime-time soap “EastEnders” and medical dramas “Casualty,” “Doctors” and “Holby City.”
The broadcaster said it would show two episodes of “EastEnders” a week instead of the usual four, to make the stock of already-recorded shows last longer.
Broadcast since 1985, “EastEnders” follows the lives of characters in a fictional working-class London neighborhood.
The producers of “Coronation Street,” Britain’s most-watched soap, said they were continuing to record episodes, “whilst carefully adhering to the latest health advice.”
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