Showbiz bears brunt of Coronavirus outbreak

Showbiz bears brunt of Coronavirus outbreak

The Coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world, reportedly infecting more than 89,000 people globally. India, too, has confirmed six cases, including one in Delhi. With the threat of a coronavirus infection looming over the country, a number of big-ticket events in the country and around the world have been cancelled and many attractions such as Disneyland, France’s the Louvre museum have been shut down. A number of events scheduled in India, too, have been cancelled or postponed.
American R&B singer Khalid, who was set to tour Mumbai and Bengaluru in India in mid-April, has postponed his Asia leg tour. “Due to the recent advisories and travel restrictions in several Asian countries, Khalid will be postponing his upcoming tour of Asia, including his India concert….We are actively working on rescheduled concert dates,” said a statement.
Last Friday, the popular American punk-rock, Grammy-winning group, Green Day, released a statement on their social media account expressing their disappointment for postponing their Asia tour. “We have unfortunately made the difficult decision to postpone our upcoming shows in Asia due to the health + travel concerns with coronavirus,” it read.
Reportedly, Deepika Padukone called off her plans to attend the ongoing Paris Fashion Week. She was invited by a luxury brand to attend the event. Meanwhile, film shoots in India have been affected, too. The shoot of Sitara, starring Sobhita Dhulipala, has been cancelled in Kerala due to the coronavirus scare in the state. The schedule was supposed start from February 12, but now has been delayed. Shankar’s Indian 2 was supposed to be shot in China but after the outbreak, they decided to shoot in Italy. There is no word on the same post outbreak in Italy. Reportedly, shoots of three unnamed Bollywood movies in China have been postponed. Meanwhile, celebrities who cannot avoid travelling, are being cautious and using face masks.
According to rumours, Varun Dhawan and Natasha Dalal, who were planning to get married in May in Thailand, are looking to change the destination.
Actor Aahana Kumra, who will be performing her play, Dekh Behen, in Mumbai this month, says, “It’s a little too early to say anything. Our show will be held at Royal Opera House and I don’t know how many people will turn up. That’s the lookout of the producers.”
According to line producers and a police source, no major shoot is due to happen in the coming days in Delhi, and no schedule was cancelled due to the scare. Line producer Tarun K Jain says a French team was due to shoot a web show in Jaipur but have cancelled their plans.
Delhi-based film distributor Joginder Mahajan says while the film business in the Capital has been low since the past few months over burning political and religious issues, the coronavirus concern could further scare the audience away from theatres. Considering the advisory mentions that people must avoid crowded places, Mahajan comments, “Who wants to take the risk? People might reduce visits to theatres for sometime.”
Meanwhile, China is an important market for the Indian film industry – not only for film releases but shoots as well. Trade analyst, Atul Mohan says, “In China, all events in China and Hong Kong, including film festivals, exhibitions, production, and major releases have been postponed till April. Good Newwz was supposed to release in Hong Kong on Feb 14. But I hear that it has been postponed. Economically, there won’t be a lull because no big Indian release was planned in early 2020.”
Last week, Aamir Khan sent a video message for his Chinese fans. He said, “Since I read about the outbreak of coronavirus over there, I have been extremely concerned.. I have been following this tragedy with a lot of pain in my heart… these are very difficult times.. the best we can do at this time is to take care and take precautions.”