I didn't really think about this much before but I think some people are used to gatherings being full of distractions like TV and even if I had one, I would never have it on at a gathering unless the intent was to watch a particular show/film together. I can't stand to have stuff with words playing in the background: it splits my focus so that I cannot be involved in anything. Speaking more broadly, I find 'on in the background' to be counterproductive because I want my gatherings to be centered around community. Also, I consider absorbing media without conscious choice to be like sending out an open invitation on craigslist: you might be okay but you might also be bringing some scary shit in.
I feel pretty content about the fact that though so many people who said yes or maybe didn't show, I didn't feel slighted or upset about it. I felt a little worried that Allison or Camellia would judge me or feel awkward, but I knew that was an illogical fear and it passed pretty quickly.