SMPTE Suspends Russian Chapter

(Image credit: SMPTE)

WHITE PLAINS, NY—The world's largest organization dedicated to film and television technology is condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine and suspending the activities of its Russian division. 

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) issued the following statement this week:

 "We the members of the SMPTE Board of Governors, issue this resolution condemning the unprovoked invasion by Russia of the sovereign country of Ukraine, the slaughter of innocent Ukrainian citizens, the destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure, and the suppression of individual rights of Russian citizens to speak and associate freely. We support and defend the individual human rights of our members in Russia and Ukraine as well as those of all our members. We call on the government of Russia to immediately cease its invasion, withdraw all its troops from Ukrainian territory, and restore the rights of Ukrainian and Russian citizens.

"We call on our partner associations in the television, motion picture, social media, and related industries to join us in our resolve against the actions of the Russian government.

"Therefore, we, the members of the SMPTE Board of Governors are suspending the activities of the SMPTE Russian Section and its members' individual participation in the SMPTE Board of Governors until further notice."

The Hollywood community has effectively ended its association with Russia during the war, as major studios have paused the release of films in Russian theaters. Netflix has suspended operations in Russia and ceased future productions and acquisitions. Discovery, WarnerMedia, and Amazon have also halted their services in Russia. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.