You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

This Congresswoman Is Calling On SXSW To Not Cancel Online Harassment Panel

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 27/10/2015 Willa Frej
ATHENA IMAGE © Boston Globe via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) is joining the chorus of those asking media festival South by Southwest to reconsider its decision to cancel a panel on online harassment.

It's "a problem that disproportionately impacts women and girls," Clark said in a letter addressed to Hugh Forrest, director of the SXSW Interactive Festival.

SXSW decided on Monday to cancel two panels -- "A Discussion on the Gaming Community" and "Overcoming Harassment in Games" -- according to a statement on their website. The festival said it has "received numerous threats of on-site violence related to this programming."

"By canceling the panel, SXSW has assisted those who wish to silence women by threatening violence," Clark added in the letter, which she tweeted Tuesday.

SXSW didn't respond to a request for comment.

BuzzFeed and Vox Media also announced on Tuesday that they plan to bow out of SXSW unless the decision is reversed.

"We will feel compelled to withdraw [Buzzfeed staffers] if the conference can’t find a way to do what those other targets of harassment do every day — to carry on important conversations in the face of harassment," BuzzFeed said in a letter to SXSW organizers. 

"By approving the panels in question, SXSW assumed responsibility for related controversies and security threats. By canceling the panels, they have cut off an opportunity to discuss a real and urgent problem in media and technology today," Vox said in a statement. 

Read Clark's letter in full:

More from Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon