THE American Film Institute has announced it postponed the 48th annual AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute in celebration of Julie Andrews as fear of coronavirus spreads.
The special event was originally scheduled for April 25 in Los Angeles and will now be rescheduled sometime in early summer.
AFI CEO and President, Bob Gazzale said in a statement: “AFI’s decision to postpone the event is simply in response to the rapidly evolving nature of current events.
“And our promise to ensure the well-being of the artists and audience that gather each year to celebrate America’s art form.
“This move will allow our full attention to focus on the many gifts that Julie Andrews has given the world.”
The iconic Mary Poppins actress was set to be the single honoree recipient for this year’s awards and was praised: “whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art.
"Whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time.”
Last year’s award went to acting legend Denzel Washington in June 2019 at a ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
The cancellation adds the the growing list of entertainment industry events that have been postponed as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world.
Just one day earlier, organizers announced they have canceled the South by Southwest Festival.
The monumental film, music and tech event was scheduled to run March 13- 22 in Austin, Texas.
Earlier this week, the movie studios that produced the franchise announced they will delay the release of the new James Bond film No Time to Die to later in the year.
News broke on the official 007 Twitter account: “MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of NO TIME TO DIE will be postponed until November 2020.”
CBS also announced earlier this week that production on the 33rd season of The Amazing Race was postponed until further notice.
A scheduled three-week shoot in Venice, Italy for the highly-anticipated Mission: Impossible 7 was delayed after the Italian government stopped all public gatherings.
Movie studios have also cancelled movie premieres set to take place in China for Disney’s latest live action remake Mulan as theaters have been closed in the country since January.
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