Netflix Mandates Vaccines for Cast, Crew

Netflix Mandates Vaccines for Cast, Crew
Netflix offices in Hollywood.

Netflix Inc. will mandate vaccinations against Covid-19 for actors and some crew members.

As first reported July 28 by Deadline and confirmed by the Business Journal, the decision by the Los Gatos-based streaming giant marks the first implementation of mandatory vaccinations by a Hollywood studio. It affects performers and crew who come into close contact with the cast — a group designated as Zone A — on the company’s U.S. productions.

The decision follows a July 19 agreement struck between unions and studios standardizing Covid-19 protocols. Since the pandemic began, many productions either implemented makeshift rules or shut down altogether.

The agreement with unions such as Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Directors Guild of America created protections for cast and crew members while giving studios like Netflix the latitude to implement mandatory vaccination policies “on a production-by-production basis,” per a joint statement released.

The agreement created a zone system and gave productions the option to require immunizations in Zone A but said studios could not mandate vaccinations for those in Zones B, C and D.

It also stipulated that if being vaccinated is a condition of employment, any associated costs are absorbed by the employer, who must consider vaccination time work time.

California health officials are once again urging residents to wear masks in indoor public settings as the Delta variant precipitates an increase in infections.

Netflix’s new mandate aims to protect film and TV shoots from future interruptions.

On July 17, Season 2 of Netflix’s “Bridgerton” shut down for a second time after a crew member on its London set tested positive for Covid-19. Season 10 of FX’s “American Horror Story” shut down July 20 due to a Zone A positive case, and Hulu’s comedy series “Woke,” shooting in Atlanta, shut down for its second time in two days on July 21.

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Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based reporter and film critic with 20+ years of experience at dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Fangoria. An obsessive soundtrack collector, sneaker aficionado and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Todd currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Beatrix and Biscuit, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.

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