Beginning this month, the Walt Disney Company will be using a sticker system to distinguish which employees have been vaccinated against Covid-19. All new productions that require proof of vaccination will have wristband stickers that employees must wear.
Those who work in Zone A, which is the zone closest to the actors, will wear a wristband if they’ve been vaccinated. Those who have not been vaccinated will not wear one. This situation is uniquely different from other places requiring to see proof of vaccination, in that it allows co-workers and other employees to physically see someone’s private health information.
Unvaccinated individuals may be subject to on-the-job harassment or discrimination.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that there is currently no universal vaccine mandate for the entertainment industry. Actors and crew could face different requirements based on each set or project they work on.
Netflix was the first Hollywood studio to require all U.S. actors and staff coming in contact with them to be fully vaccinated. They also required vaccination to enter their headquarters.
Disney, however, appears to be the first studio to require the visible vaccination sticker. The studio does mandate vaccines for all employees, but there are actors and crew who are not technically considered employees.
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
According to a tweet from Tatiana Siegel, “Vaccine debate is tearing Hollywood apart. Case in point: Letitia Wright quietly parted ways [with] her entire US team of reps in wake of backlash over posting a controversial anti-vax video in December.”
While Hollywood and Hollywood’s actors stand out as the main proponents of the vaccine, the reality is that there is much division.
In August, an unvaccinated A-list actor caught Covid-19 and was hospitalized. The film shut down production for three weeks and took a seven-figure hit. Another unvaccinated actor on the set of The Offer tested positive for Covid, causing the set to shut down and lose a little less than $6 million.
There have been several stars who’ve been outspoken on social media against the vaccine. Rob Schneider and Leticia Wright have been accused of sharing “anti-vaccine” positions on their social media platforms.
George Clooney has called the situation “crazy.” He said, “It’s stupid…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.”
While Sean Penn was filming Gaslit, he refused to come to work until everyone on production got vaccinated. NBC Universal had already mandated that only those working in Zone A had to get the vaccine. He eventually “compromised” and came back two months later. Penn also told unvaccinated movie go-ers to, “Stay home until you are convinced of these very safe vaccines.”
Anthony Anderson of Black-ish has taken a softer approach. He doesn’t feel that it’s others’ jobs to say what someone can and cannot do to their body. He said, “Each individual has his or her own rights. We aren’t in control of anyone’s body, only that person is…I’m not here to judge anyone on what they should do with their body. I can only govern what I’m doing with mine. As long as they respect me, I respect them…”
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