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Is This a Super Spreader Event? Award Show Will Not Require COVID Vaccines for Attendees

Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File

Ah, the hypocrisy continues. While common folk may be subject to vaccine mandates, the who's who in Hollywood will not be when they attend the 94th Academy Awards this year on March 27. Scott Feinberg reported the news about the Academy Awards and other award shows on Wednesday for The Hollywood Reporter. Rather, attendees will have to prove they have tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus.


Feinberg mentioned that "The Academy, which requires its own employees to be vaccinated (with rare medical exemptions), declined to comment for this piece."

Many were quick to react on Twitter slamming the decision, both in pointing out the hypocrisy, and expressing their concerns for safety. Our friends at Twitchy highlighted some of the best examples. 

While Feinberg leads his piece with the Academy Awards, considering it's the biggest of the awards shows, it's also noteworthy in that it's more relaxed than the others.


Protocols for the SAG Awards on February 27 note on its website that "All ticketed attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination plus booster shot (if eligible), proof of negative lab-based COVID-19 PCR test within 48 hours of event, and negative antigen (rapid) test the day of the event."

Joey Berlin, COO of the Critics Choice Association, which will hold their show on March 13 said that they "will be 100 percent vaccinated and require a negative PCR test within 48 hours of the event. I can’t invite people to a show where they’re not going to feel safe."

As Feinberg closed his piece with speculating:

Some industry insiders have speculated that the Academy is being less stringent than it could be because more than a few high-profile industry figures — including at least one of last year’s acting winners and prominent members of the casts of multiple best picture nominees, as well as nominees in other categories — would otherwise be precluded from attending the Oscars.

The Academy has yet to publicly release its COVID policy for Oscar night, but unless it significantly changes between now and showtime, the organization can expect considerable blowback from some members of the community. “Shocking” is how one highly connected industry insider, speaking to THR, described the Oscars’ willingness to accommodate anti-vaxxers.


As the Academy worries about potentially leaving out Hollywood celebrities, it's worth noting that ordinary citizens are shut out of entire cities due to vaccine mandates if they are not vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus. Washington, D.C.'s second phase of the vaccine mandate for indoor establishments goes into effect on Tuesday, when patrons will be required to show that they are fully vaccinated. 

Los Angeles, where the awards show is held, also has a vaccine mandate. That same day as Feinberg's report came out, ABC 7 News reported that the Board of Supervisors there "preliminary approval to a proposal that would give the county personnel director overriding authority to discipline any employees who fail to comply with the requirement." Sheriff Alex Villanueva who will not enforce the mandate among his deputies, called it a "death blow to public safety" and warned he could lose 4,000 members of his department. 


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