Marty Walsh, Boston’s mayor has sent a letter to Sony urging them to reconsider PAX East absence.
Sony confirmed it wouldn’t be attending PAX East over concerns related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Walsh’s letter says a risk of infection in Boston is low and warns that Sony’s cancellation will help spread anti-Asian sentiment.
Walsh addresses to Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony's CEOThese 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.
Sony has yet to respond to Walsh’s comments. Over the weekend, Square Enix scaled down PAX East plans over coronavirus. The coronavirus has already affected Nintendo Switch stocks, the Switch release of The Outer Worlds and the Taipei Game 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.
PAX East takes place in Boston, Massachusetts and runs between February 27 to 1 March 1.