One of the largest companies in the United States, Netflix, has recently decided to implement COVID vaccine mandates. Netflix has declared that these mandates will be required for all cast members, as well as all individuals who may happen to come into contact with these cast members. These mandates apply to all productions that originate from the United States.
Netflix’s move renders the company the first Hollywood studio of significance to implement companywide vaccine mandates.
Per Deadline, the streaming giant indicated that COVID vaccines would be required for all individuals who are either working within, or coming into contact with individuals working within “Zone A,” which is a reference to all the actors and actresses, alongside those who are near to them.
Some other production companies, including Starz/UCP, have implemented COVID vaccine mandates for a few of their shows, such as “Gaslit.” However, Netflix constitutes the first private company to implement COVID vaccine mandates across the entirety of the company’s operations in the United States.
The company made the decision for “Zone A” against the backdrop of multiple media reports, which have focused on the fourth wave of the Delta variant associated with COVID. Additionally, the mandatory vaccine requirements constitute the most aggressive measure that Netflix could enforce, based upon the newly released return-to-work guidelines from SAG-AFTRA. These guidelines delineate how various protocols approved by unions in Hollywood, as well as studios of significance, can provide producers with the authority “to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis.”
During the spring, Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, responded to increased concerns regarding whether or not the federal government would begin requiring mandatory vaccines for the public. At the time, Psaki blew off these inquiries, though she added that the federal government would not intervene in the private sector’s decisions with regards to vaccine mandates.
“Obviously, private-sector businesses and entities are going to set their own standards,” Psaki proclaimed.
While a push to make vaccinations required for the entirety of the American public has not yet surfaced, Biden intends to make an imminent announcement regarding federal workers, namely that they will either need to be vaccinated against COVID, or they will be subjected to required, and repeated, COVID tests.