The Webby Awards, recognizing the best internet content and creators, has canceled its 24th annual awards show, becoming the latest event to be nixed in light of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The kudos-fest had been scheduled to take place May 11, 2020, in New York City. However, the Webby Awards will still be handed out this year. Nominees will be announced in the coming weeks with the launch of the Webby People’s Voice public voting, and organizers plan to announce winners with an “internet celebration” that will include the franchise’s trademark Webby 5-Word Speech.
The 2019 Webby Awards, held at Cipriani Wall Street, featured appearances by Issa Rae, Hasan Minhaj, Monica Lewinsky, Michael Douglas and Gritty, the meme-worthy Philadelphia Flyers mascot. The Webbys are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS).
Read the full statement from Claire Graves, executive director of the Webby Awards, about the decision to cancel the event:
From all of us here at The Webby Awards, we hope this message finds you, your team, and your family healthy.
We’ve been monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak closely as we approach the announcement of our Nominees, Winners, and the 24th Annual Webby Award event. As we have seen communities and businesses around the world become increasingly affected by this global pandemic, we want to share some updates with you and your team.
It is with a heavy heart that I share this news with you: given the impact of COVID-19, our concern for the health and well-being of our community, plus measures public officials are taking, we are cancelling the 24th Annual Webby Awards event which was scheduled to take place on May 11th in New York City.
We continue to be committed to recognizing and honoring the best of the Internet. The 24th Annual Webby Award Nominees will be announced in the coming weeks with the launch of The Webby People’s Voice public voting. A new announcement schedule will be released in the days ahead, and our plan is to announce the Winners with an Internet celebration that will honor the year’s best work, giving our Winners their chance to mark their win in history with a hallmark Webby 5-Word Speech. The celebration will engage our community all over the world and will aim to be as inspiring as the Winners themselves.
Despite these changes and the current global environment, we are excited to celebrate this year’s Webby Honorees, Nominees, and Winners. We’ve been working with some of the world’s most creative people and companies to help guide what The Webby Awards will be in 2020 and are excited to unveil our plans soon.
As always, we are committed to using our platform to help raise awareness for important global issues and civic engagement. There has never been a more important time to harness the power of the Internet to connect, inform, and support people. If you or your organization are working on initiatives to help people at this time, please feel free to get in touch with me to see how we can share your work with the wider Webby community. Please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to be in touch with updates on the show and announcement schedule, you can also follow along on our website here.
My thoughts are with all of you in this difficult time.
Claire Graves, Executive Director, The Webby Awards