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The Case for On-Set Vaccine Mandates Now

David Dawson and Harry Styles filming the My Policeman with a masked crew in the background
Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images
Matthew Belloni
August 26, 2021

Earlier this summer, production abruptly halted on a pricey project shooting in L.A. Someone in “Zone A,” which refers to those allowed near the unmasked performers, had tested positive for Covid. It wasn’t a shock. For months, dozens of productions around the world had been forced to pause after positive tests amid the spread of the Delta variant. HBO’s Westworld and Game of Thrones prequel, Netflix’s Bridgerton, and many other high-profile projects have suffered temporary shutdowns.

But this situation was especially disappointing for everyone involved because the positive test was one of the project’s stars, according to three separate sources close to the production. And two of those sources tell me that the star had informed the production that they weren’t vaccinated. (The studio and the star’s rep declined to confirm or comment, citing privacy concerns.) The shutdown added about $5 million to the production cost, I’m told, infuriating producers and executives at the studio.