After comparing vaccine dodgers with drunk drivers, Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber (“The Phantom of the Opera”) now says he will risk arrest if the government doesn’t allow theaters to operate at full capacity.
Speaking with The Telegraph, the famed composer said that he will open his six London theaters in two weeks regardless of COVID or social distancing protocols. London had planned to ease restrictions on June 21, but new variants of the virus have put that in doubt. Webber said that keeping theaters locked down was simply anti-science.
“I’ve seen the science from the tests, don’t ask me how,” he said.
“If the government ignores their own science, we have the mother of all legal cases against them. If ‘Cinderella’ couldn’t open, we’d go, ‘Look, either we go to law about it or you’ll have to compensate us,” he added.
Webber even went so far as to say that the police can “come to the theatre and arrest us” if he violates the protocol. According to the composer, he had to remortgage his home and would have to sell his theaters if they are not allowed to reopen.
“Unfortunately, the government regards theater as a nice thing to have rather than a necessity,” he said.
As reported by Fox News, the famed composer has been fighting to get theaters opened since last year.
“Well, as you probably know I’ve been fighting to get theaters reopened and indeed all forms of indoor and music spaces, up and down, not only just Britain but all over America,” he said in November 2020. Webber’s open defiance of the government stands in stark contrast to his statement on vaccine dodgers. During an interview with the BBC, Webber said that not getting the vaccine would be like killing someone after drinking and driving.
“I do think it’s selfish, because, I mean, look at it this way, I mean, you could just say, I would like to go out and have a drink tonight and drive home, and accidentally I kill somebody,” the 73-year-old composer said.
Webber then touted the science behind vaccines, noting his participation in the Oxford vaccine trial.
“Now, I mean, it seems to me that nobody’s going to go out and deliberately infect anybody with Covid, but it’s completely wrong if we know the science. I was on the Oxford vaccine trial last year for this reason,” he said. “We know that the vaccines are very effective and we know that they are really, broadly speaking, unbelievably safe. It just seems to me that it’s just not – I think the Queen put it rather well, you’ve got to think of other people in all of this.”
When the BBC challenged Webber on his “very stark comparison” between hesitant vaxxers and drunk drivers, Webber was unwavering in his position.
“Well, I don’t know. I think you could argue it’s your choice. I feel very strongly now that there are really now people who have got to realise that by not having the vaccine they’re affecting an enormous number of people’s jobs and livelihoods,” he said.
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