POLITICS

Wendy Davis Calls SXSW Panel Cancellation 'Disturbing'

She said the festival had aided those behind "harassment & misogyny."
Former Texas state Senator Wendy Davis speaks during the "Politicon" convention in Pasadena, California, U.S. June 25, 2016.
Former Texas state Senator Wendy Davis speaks during the "Politicon" convention in Pasadena, California, U.S. June 25, 2016.

Wendy Davis, the former Texas state senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, has added her voice to those slamming South by Southwest for canceling two panels originally designed to address harassment in technology, which disproportionately affects women. The arts and interactive media festival, held annually in Austin, said it acted because of "numerous threats of on-site violence."

Davis tweeted Wednesday that SXSW's decision "empowers aggressors":

Others have made the same point. On Tuesday, Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) called out SXSW organizers on Twitter for assisting "those who wish to silence women by threatening violence."

Vox Media and BuzzFeed have both canceled their own panels at the festival in protest.

In an attempt to rectify the situation, reeling SXSW officials announced Tuesday that they were considering hosting an all-day event to discuss online harassment.

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