Producers can mandate vaccinations in agreement with unions

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With the ongoing goal of keeping casts, crews and all set workers safe, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Basic Crafts, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), together with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP), have announced they have a tentative agreement on adjustments to the COVID-19 Safety Agreement reflecting vaccines and other scientific advances.

The modifications center on workplace practices for fully vaccinated cast and crew, including changes to outdoor masking requirements and updated mealtime protocols. Producers will have the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis.

Additional changes, such as adjustments to testing frequency, are included for certain areas in the United States and Canada where COVID-19 incidence is, and remains, very low.

The Agreement will remain in effect through September 30, 2021. The parties will continue closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and will consider further modifications at that time. 

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First enacted in September 2020 after a months-long production shutdown, the COVID-19 Safety Agreement is the outcome of unprecedented coordination and solidarity between the unions and collaboration with Employers to develop science-based protocols that minimize the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission in the industry’s unique work environments.

Since that time, the protocols have driven a successful rebound of film and television production while prioritizing safety for casts, crews and all on-set workers.

With cases of the Delta Variant on the rise in Los Angeles, Deadline reports that  Sean Penn has dug his heels in. In pure Penn fashion, he has challenged Hollywood leadership to go even further in imposing vaccination mandates for everyone on a film or TV set.

To set an example, Penn is refusing to return to work on Gaslit — the UCP-produced Starz limited series he stars in with Julia Roberts — until everyone on the production has been vaccinated for the virus.