If Bradley Whitford has his way, most working actors in Hollywood will soon have to provide proof they’ve received a Covid vaccination if they want to continue earning a paycheck.
Whitford, who is best known for his role as White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on the long-running NBC political drama “The West Wing,” tweeted Friday about his belief that the Screen Actors Guild, SAG-Aftra, should already have a mandate in place for performers.
“Why is @sagaftra not demanding that all productions require proof of vaccination for all set personnel where their members are working in the middle of a deadly pandemic? And where do @MembershipFirst and @unite4strength stand on the subject?” he asked the union and two sub-groups.
Sean Penn, too, has argued that getting the shot should be a requirement, likening it to getting a drivers license. In July, he said he would not return to the set of his upcoming Starz series, “Gaslit,” which co-stars Julia Roberts, unless all the cast and crew had received the jab.
Calls for vaccine mandates are growing across the entertainment industry.
Actress Sharon Stone, who is currently running to be president of SAG-Aftra, said in a campaign video covered in Variety that she won’t work on a set where everyone isn’t vaccinated. She then made vaccines a key part of her platform.
“I’ve been offered a job — a good job, a job I really want to do in Atlanta,” she said. “That’s why my hair is standing on end … because the Producers Guild of America will not guarantee that everyone on our show is vaccinated before I go to work.”
The outlet further quoted Stone’s video:
“Will I go to work before everyone on my show is vaccinated? No. No, I won’t,” she added. “Am I being threatened that I will lose my job? Yes. Yes I am. Will I lose my job if everyone is not vaccinated on my show? Yes. Yes I could. Will I stand up for all of us so that every set that we go on is vaccinated? Yes. Yes, I will. Why? Because that’s ridiculous … that we should have to go to work where we are not safe to work. I am standing up for all of us when I say that the Screen Actors Guild — that I will be working for with Membership First — will be safe for us to go to work.
I’m not going to work until all of our sets are vaccinated. And you shouldn’t either. Why? Because I am running for us. Why? Because we are you. I’m so sorry that this is our working conditions, but this is the Screen Actors Guild that we have today. Thank you.”
Stone is backing this policy just as several major studios and entertainment companies are putting such mandates in place.
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