Not even Hollywood magic is enough to keep the COVID-19 pandemic from shutting down TV and movie sets. Questions about vaccinations and positive tests are forcing production of movies and TV shows into sometimes short, sometimes extended hiatus.
“House of the Dragon,” the prequal to “Game of Thrones” and Hulu comedy “Woke” were briefly shut down because of positive COVID-19 cases. The Jamie Foxx movie “God Is A Bullet” and Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible 7” also shut down because of positive COVID tests.
Sean Penn indicated he would leave the production of a limited Starz series on the Watergate scandal called “Gaslit” until the entire cast and crew agreed to be vaccinated. Multiple fellow cast and crew members have been vaccinated as of Penn’s departure, sources told The Wall Street Journal.
It’s no different than what’s happening across corporate America, in government offices and with professional sports teams — as well as at the 2020 Winter Olympics in Tokyo. The Delta variant has people focusing more on vaccination levels and keeping tighter control of their environments.
Unlike most offices, though, people are forced to work closely on Hollywood movie and TV sets. It’s not always practical to require masks and social distancing in those environments, according to WSJ.
Representatives from almost 60 medical groups — such as the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association — said Monday (July 26) they want to see mandatory vaccination policies for all healthcare workers, calling it an ethical obligation as the number of cases begins to surge again.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, meanwhile, became the first federal agency to require its employees be vaccinated, demanding 115,000 frontline healthcare workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in the next two months, government officials said Monday.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded his city’s vaccine mandate to include all city workers, who must show proof of vaccination or take weekly tests for the virus beginning in the fall. Unvaccinated NYC workers must wear masks at work beginning Aug. 2.
Meanwhile, California will make state employees and healthcare workers show proof they are vaccinated or they will face weekly tests. California has a minimum of 246,000 state employees and a minimum of 2 million healthcare workers, according to an Associated Press report.
Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer told CNBC Thursday (July 29) he’ll require all employees and customers to be vaccinated.