The audiovisual industry has not been immune to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and there are already many companies and event organizers that have spoken about it, either with messages of support for the victims or even with more concrete measures, such as bans or the suspension of business with Russian companies.
Reed Expositions (RX), the organization behind the international TV showcases Mipcom and MIPTV, and The National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) have issued statements showing their support for the Ukrainian community and announcing the banning of Russian companies from their upcoming events.
Reed Expositions announced that it will follow “government sanctions and policies in each territory where it operates”. That means there will not be any Russian film and TV outfits attending the upcoming MIPTV, which is set to take place in April 4-6 in Cannes, France. “We strongly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. RX stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, particularly with our employees around the world who have family and friends in Ukraine. We also stand in solidarity with our Russian employees working in challenging conditions,” RX issued.
NATPE also expressed its support for the Ukrainian community, confirming the banning of Russian companies from its upcoming international television sales market to be held in Budapest from June 27-30, 2022. “The Ukrainian people have our full support over the barbaric and horrific invasion of their homeland by the brutal dictator Putin and his surrogates. We wish we could provide more tangible assistance, but what we can do is join the world community and prevent Russian presence from conducting commerce,” the organization said in a statement.
Furthermore, over the weekend, Series Mania festival said it had disinvited Roskino, the government-backed advocacy organization for the nation’s film and TV industry. Roskino was planning to host a presentation of buzzed-about content at Series Mania, which starts on March 18 in Lille, France.
Particular companies of the audiovisual industry are also teaming up to take action. For example, All3Media International, BBC Studios, ITV Studios, and Fremantle, four of the largest production and distribution companies of the world, have joined the growing band of European TV distribution firms suspending sales to Russia.
CJ ENM-owned distributor Eccho Rights said it had pledged a donation of €50,000 to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, and removed all Russian-owned and -produced series from its catalogue. The company also announced that it has seen “unprecedented interest” in its series “Servant of the People,” which was created by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “Broadcasters want to share more of this heroic figure and a unique document in his extraordinary rise to power,” the company assured.
Meanwhile, Netflix confirmed that it will not carry Russian state television channels on its service as it was supposed according to local regulations. On the other hand, YouTube has pulled government-backed networks RT and Sputnik from its service.