The Austin Chronicle

#MeToo, Time's Up Panels Lead SXSW Speaker List

By Richard Whittaker, February 21, 2018, 1:00pm, Picture in Picture

SXSW is supposed to serve in no small part as a barometer of the current culture. It's then no surprise that today's latest list of additional attendees and speakers includes panels dedicated to the #MeToo and Time's Up movement reshaping the larger world, as well as the entertainment and tech industries.

The two panels – one dedicated to the importance of diversity in the critical sphere, the other a broader discussion of the Time's Up movement's impact – are just part of a long list of last-minute additions across the fest's fields and categories. On the politics side, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will be in attendance as part of the government track, as will former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will discuss his views on politics rather than his acting career. Mirroring that jump, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be discussing his country's IT economy.

Those are just a handful of names and events added to the fest (running March 9-18) that stretch from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, to Austinite and Ready Player One author Ernest Cline (on the eve of the release of the adaptation of his book by Steven Spielberg), Wu-Tang Clan founding member U-God, pioneering producer Nile Rodgers, a horror panel featuring filmmakers Vera Miao and Roxanne Benjamin, Superchunk co-founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan, and many more.



• Keynote speaker and VR/AR pioneer Nonny de la Peña


• Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One

• An Informal and Candid Conversation with Female Leaders in Television, featuring Amy Powell (President of Paramount TV & Digital Entertainment), Dakota Fanning (The Alienist), Janine Sherman Barrois (Claws), Niecy Nash (Claws), Sarah Aubrey (EVP of TNT Original Programming), Susan Rovner (EVP, Development, Warner Bros. Television and Co-President, Warner Horizon Scripted Television), moderated by Tonya Lewis Lee


• CherryPicks: Why Does a Critic’s Gender Matter? featuring Miranda Bailey (CherryPicks), Ann Powers (NPR), Claudia Puig (Los Angeles Film Critics Association), and actress Samantha Mathis

• TIME'S UP! Shifting the Imbalance of Power Featured Session, featuring Fatima Goss Graves (President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center), Hilary Rosen (SKDKnickerbocker Partner), and more TBA


• Actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will join the prevsiously announced Off Message session with Politico chief washington correspondent Isaac Dovere

• Vermont Senator and former US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, in conversation with The Lead host Jake Tapper


VICE News Tonight on HBO correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro, who will join Waymo CEO John Krafcik for the previously announced Just Press Go: Waymo’s Self-Driving Cars Are Here session


• The Bleeding Edge: A New Generation of Horror featuring Vera Miao (Sentence Horror Stories), Leigh Whannell (Saw), Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound, V/H/S), Stephen Susco (The Grudge, Untitled Blumhouse-Bazelevs Film), and Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum

• Erin Lee Carr (Mommy Dead and Dearest), who will join the previously announced session with How to Tell a True Crime Story Featured Session



• Superchunk co-founders Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan in conversation with author Austin Kleon about their latest album, What a Time to Be Alive and their label Merge Records

• Grammy-winning songwriter and music industry executive Kawan "KP" Prather and and Grammy-winning producer David Banner

• New Jack Swing creator Teddy Riley and Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell

• Multi-time Grammy winner and hip-hop pioneer Nile Rodgers

• Rapper and Wu-Tang Clan founding member U-God


• Legendary manager and producer Kerry Brown (The Smashing Pumpkins, Miley Cyrus) and writer/producer Linda Perry

• Charles Caldas, CEO of global digital rights agency Merlin


• Michael Barbaro, host of the New York Times radio show The Daily and Pulitzer-winning NYT foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi

• Rapper and permaculture activist Mona Haydar and Peadbody-winner Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show, Halal in the Family), who will appear with Katie Couric on The Katie Couric Podcast


Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, who will join the previously announced session with W. Kamau Bell political editor Guy Benson, who will join the previously announced session with Dylan Marron

• Author Glennon Doyle (Love Warrior), president of non-profit Together Rising

• Ben Howe and activist Noor Tagouri, creator of the #LetNoorShine campaign, and RestState senior contributing editor Ben Howe, who will join Ana Marie Cox and Bree Newsome for the previously announced The Gifts of Faith: Cultivating Resilience session

• Evelyn Ngugi, former director of video strategy at and YouTube Creators For Change fellow, who will join Luvvie Ajayi for the previously announced On Doing Better: A Convo session


• Facebook US Group entertainment and technology and connectivity lead Bob Gruters

CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King, who will join previously announced speaker, Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd

• TechCrunch writer Fitz Tepper, joing rewardStyle president Amber Venz Box in the previously announced What Mobile Means for the World’s Biggest Brands session

• Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadaka in conversation with Texas Tribune founder Evan Smith

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