As the world returns to a bit of normalcy after a rough pandemic, there undoubtedly will be growing pains. One major problem that has come to the forefront today is the decision on vaccinations for employees. Many major television companies have recently been asking the question should vaccinations be mandatory for cast and crew. The NFL started off the storm this morning by announcing a new rule which would effectively forfeit games and pay for players if a team were to have an outbreak among unvaccinated employees. Sean Penn (Into the Wild) added to the raging fire by giving an ultimatum for his new show, Gaslit. Either everyone on set is vaccinated, or he is not coming to work.
Via Deadline, the prominent actor, known for his roles in Mystic River and Milk, has put his foot down with the studio producing Gaslit, NBCUniversal. With the Delta variant running rampant in Los Angeles, enough to force the city to reimpose their indoor mask mandate, Penn has made it clear that he wants everyone to be vaccinated on set. If his demands can not be met, he will hold out on production and force a delay on the show.
Sean Penn is refusing to return to work on his limited series ‘GASLIT’ until everyone on the production has received the COVID-19 vaccine.
(Source: Deadline) pic.twitter.com/KlEnNHKGe4
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 22, 2021
The parent studio, NBCUniversal, had sent an email out this week that created new ground rules for the set in regards with vaccinations. They have mandated that “Zone A” members on set, the cast and anyone in close contact with them, be vaccinated. The news was welcomed by Sean Penn but did not go far enough as non-Zone A crew members had no such requirements. With hundreds of people on set, transmission could run rampant in a short amount of time.
Penn has offered to give free vaccinations for anyone in the crew through his organization, CORE.
Gaslit was in its final weeks of filming when the news broke on Penn’s ultimatum. The limited series is being made for Starz and is set to be a political thriller depicting the Watergate scandal from a new perspective. Penn is set to play the Attorney General under Richard Nixon, John N. Mitchell. He will star alongside Julia Roberts (Notting Hill) who will play his outspoken wife, Martha Mitchell.
This story is only beginning to unfold, and it will be interesting to see the response from other organizations and studios because of it. Stay tuned for much more from the Penn holdout and Gaslit.