AFI Postpones Life Achievement Award Gala Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Julie Andrews

AFI CEO and president Bob Gazzale said the decision to reschedule the ceremony will ensure "the well-being of the artists and audience that gather each year to celebrate America’s art form."

The American Film Institute is postponing its Life Achievement Award gala due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

The annual ceremony, set to celebrate Julie Andrews this year, was scheduled for April 25 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The gala will be rescheduled for a date in early summer.

"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," AFI CEO and president Bob Gazzale said Saturday in a statement. "This move will allow our full attention to focus on the many gifts that Julie Andrews has given the world."

This year's cancellation comes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Wednesday in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Seven cases were reported in Los Angeles County as of Thursday, with at least 14 deaths nationwide including one person in California. The virus has reached at least 17 states and can cause the disease COVID-19.

Additional events that have been cancelled outright so far include SXSW and the Game Developers Conference, while the release date for the 25th James Bond film, No Time to Die, was delayed until fall.