Even in liberal Hollywood, the vaccine debate is wreaking havoc in the workplace, reportedly pitting co-stars and co-workers against each other and causing delays on expensive productions. Celebrities including George Clooney and Sean Penn have blamed the unvaccinated, while Black Panther star Letitia Wright and actor Rob Schneider have voiced skepticism about the vaccine.
The lack of an industry standard about the vaccine has caused some productions to descend into chaos, with one “high-profile” actor coming down with COVID-19 and causing a movie to temporarily shut down, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In another instance, Paramount+’s upcoming series The Offer, about the making of The Godfather, shut down production in late July after a series star, who was “said to be unvaccinated,” tested positive for the coronavirus. Sources told the Reporter that the stoppage resulted in a $6 million loss, though Paramount has disputed the figure.
Vaccine debate is tearing Hollywood apart. Case in point: Letitia Wright quietly parted ways w/ her entire US team of reps in wake of backlash over posting a controversial anti-vaxx video in December. W/ @Borys_Kit & @chrissgardner https://t.co/4yxdcP1cht via @thr
— Tatiana Siegel (@TatianaSiegel27) October 6, 2021
George Clooney told the magazine that getting the vaccine is a necessary sacrifice, like fighting the Nazis in World War II.
“It’s stupid. And it’s stupid because every generation in our country for more than a lifetime has been asked to sacrifice something for the safety of their fellow man — get shot, fight Nazis,” he told the Reporter. “All that anyone’s being asked here is to get a shot in the arm and put on a mask. Grow up. Get something done.”
Sean Penn walked off the production of the Watergate-themed Starz series Gaslit until all cast and crew were vaccinated. The Reporter said Penn returned about two months later, after the series put in place an all-zone vaccine mandate until the production wraps.
“Stay home until you are convinced of these very clearly safe vaccines,” Penn told the Reporter. “We’ve normalized this notion of radical libertarianism, and it really is a violation of the idea of interconnectedness.”
The Mandalorian star Giancarlo Esposito took an even harsher stance. “If you don’t want to vaccinate, go to a small island and sequester yourself,” he