As Netflix becomes the first major Hollywood studio to mandate vaccination and testing for all actors and crew members working in close proximity, here’s a look at how Hollywood is inching towards resuming businesses in full swing.
Last week, Hollywood studios reached an agreement with unions for new on-set COVID-19 protocols for movie and TV productions. With rising COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles, studios and unions are taking measures so that production can begin in full swing.
Among the unions that confirmed striking a deal with the Hollywood studios are the Director’s Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, as per a Los Angeles Business Journal report.
Here are some of the measures the industry has been taking to tackle production resumption amid the pandemic restrictions.
Netflix mandates vaccination for actors, ‘Zone A’ Crew in the US
Netflix has announced that all actors and those who work closely with them in any US production need to be vaccinated, according to the new return-to-work protocols laid out by studios, reports Variety. The other changes include modifications to outdoor masking requirements and updated mealtime protocols, the studios and unions have clarified in a joint statement.
But while the vaccinations are mandatory, Netflix will reportedly be making a handful of exceptions over medical, religious, and age parameters.
Sean Penn refuses to resume work until unit is fully vaccinated
It was reported last week that Sean Penn refused to return to the sets of his upcoming series Gaslit unless the entire production team gets vaccinated. With the spike in Delta variant coronavirus cases across Los Angeles, the actor has also offered to provide help to the production through his organisation Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) which could offer free-of-cost vaccination.
Navigating the new normal — in-person movie screening
Cannes Film Festival was among the several events to resume in full capacity, as film festival organisers mandated attendees must be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 every 48 hours. There was also provision for on-site testing for attendees, with results sent via email within six hours, as per a report in Financial Times. Hollywood also has taken a leaf out of the Cannes film fest now, evidenced by the in-person premieres for Ryan Murphy’s Impeachment: American Crime Story, Ted Lasso and Jungle Cruise.
“We asked people to come a little earlier than usual to allow for time for check-in. Everyone was patient and cooperated and they followed the rules,” said Darin Pfeiffer, the veteran event planner behind the AHS screening.
The Jungle Cruise screening was an entirely outdoor event and took place — no points for guessing — at Disneyland. Attendees were asked to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR Covid test, and no masks were required except for riding the shuttle from the parking lot to the park. The park, on the other hand, had temporarily closed a handful of rides and cancelled fireworks on the premiere date.