The nation’s entertainment capital shut down Tuesday as two major awards shows and a Madonna concert were canceled and most of Hollywood’s big studios closed their doors in response to horrific terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
It was the day the music died for the 2nd annual Latin Grammy Awards show, a glitzy music industry event which ironically had been moved to Los Angeles from Miami for security reasons last month.
Organizers of the star-studded gala said the $4 million production, which was to have been broadcast Tuesday night in the United States and 120 other countries, was canceled.
“Who wants to be in a public place with thousands of people under these circumstances?” said one Latin music executive.
Organizers of Sunday’s 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards said the ceremony was postponed indefinitely “out of respect for the victims, their families and our fellow citizens,” said Jim Chabin, president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
The cancellation of the Emmys and the Latin Grammys came as Hollywood’s big studios, from AOL Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures to Vivendi Universal’s Universal Studios, closed their doors and instructed staff to go home as the country remained in a state of shock.
Two planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan and another careened into the Pentagon Tuesday, causing catastrophic loss of life.
Major League Baseball cancelled all 15 scheduled games on Tuesday for the first time since 1989 when an earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area struck a half hour before Game Three of the World Series.
The major U.S. television networks cancelled regular programming to allow for blanket coverage of the events. NBC said production has been halted for the remainder of the week for its popular late-night programs hosted by Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien.
STAPLES ‘IN LOCK-DOWN MODE’
A Madonna concert, scheduled for Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Staples Center, which seats 20,000, was also canceled.
“We’re in lock-down mode and on high security,” said Lee Zeidman, senior vice president of operations for the Staples Center. He said the pop diva’s shows on Thursday and Friday were still scheduled to go on at this point.
Walt Disney Co., whose parks and cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse are symbols of America at home and abroad and considered terrorist targets, said Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in southern California had been closed, as were all its retail stores around the country.
A Disney spokeswoman said some offices at the company’s headquarters were open, although employees were given the option to go home.
Crowds were diminished along Hollywood’s usually jam-packed “Walk of Fame,” and only a few people hovered over the movie star footprints outside Mann’s Chinese Theater. Gift shops were virtually empty, and tour companies canceled the day’s trips.
Across from Mann’s at the Roosevelt Hotel, tourists packed Teddy’s Lounge to drink coffee and watch television news coverage of the events unfolding on the East Coast.
Howard Robinson of Leeds, England, said he and his wife were supposed to take a tour of the city’s ocean ports today, but had decided to stay put in their hotel.
“After hearing this, we couldn’t go, we didn’t want to go anywhere,” he told Reuters.
LATIN GRAMMYS MOVED OUT OF SECURITY CONCERNS
The cancellation of the Latin Grammys comes ironically after organizers last month yanked the show from Miami as a security measure amid fears that anti-Castro demonstrations protesting the presence of Cuban artists might get out of hand.
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and CBS issued a joint statement to announce the cancellation of the show.
“Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and everyone who has been impacted by these horrific events,” the organizations said in a statement.
Scheduled performers at the event, expected to draw thousands to the Forum, included guitarist Carlos Santana and Jose Angel Hevia, a Galician flutist and bagpiper, with a star-studded lineup of presenters including film actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Latin jazz musician Arturo Sandoval.
Many people involved in the show, including nominees, were relieved upon hearing that the show had been cancelled.
“We can’t think about music right now. The only feeling we can have now is about the families involved by this tragedy andour security,” said Andres Recio, personal manager for 28-year-old Colombian rocker Juanes who swept the nominations, receiving seven for his brand of rock and Colombian vallenato.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which hosts the Emmys, also postponed nearly a week of celebrity receptions and other events leading up to the awards show, television’s equivalent of the Oscars.