A few days ago, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that it would cancel its attendance to PAX East in Boston due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Today, we hear a notable voice disagreeing with that stance.
As reported by WCVB (via Resetera) Boston’s mayor Marty Walsh addressed a formal letter to Sony’s president and chief executive officer Kenichiro Yoshida formally requesting the company to reconsider its stance.
In the letter, Welsh mentioned that the risk of contracting the new virus in Boston is extremely low and that the city’s officials have no reason to believe that anyone should cancel plans to visit the city.
Welsh also mentioned that fears over the Coronavirus outbreak have been causing the reinforcements of harmful stereotypes.
“These fears reinforce harmful stereotypes that generations of Asians have worked hard to dismantle.
They trigger our worst impulses: to view entire groups of people with suspicion, to close ourselves off, and to miss out on the opportunities and connections our global city provides. Boston is united in our efforts to dispel these harmful and misguided fears.”
He also added that Sony has the opportunity to set a positive example by actually attending the show.
“As a large, international company, you have an opportunity to set a good example.
As a leader in technology, you can show that you are motivated by facts, not fear. As a leader in gaming and culture, you can show that you believe in connection, not isolation.”
At the moment, we don’t have information on Sony’s potential response.
In the meanwhile, the Sony Interactive entertainment also canceled its attendance to GDC in March, while Square Enix did not cancel its PAX attendance, but was forced to withdraw some events, as previously-scheduled Japanese guests will stay instead remain home.
PAX East will be hosted in Boston between February 27 and March 1.