“I was told to wear a mask…and I’m not”

Two weeks after Woody Harrelson criticized COVID-19 safety protocols during his ““Saturday Night Live” monologue, Tilda Swinton became the latest actor to speak out against such measures, saying during a SXSW panel that she had no intention of wearing a mask on the set of her next film.

At the start of the panel ahead of the premiere of his new movie ‘Problemista’ in Austin, Swinton reflected on how much had changed in the world since her last appearance at SXSW in 2014, noting that she hadn’t seen anyone in the audience wearing masks and how that didn’t seem possible during the most severe stages of the COVID pandemic -19. “I mean, in Texas, were people wearing masks? I have to ask,” she joked to the crowd.

Swinton then said she had no plans to wear a mask per film industry safety protocols and was “very healthy” even after multiple COVID-19 infections over the past few years. last three years.

“I’m about to take a picture in Ireland, and I was told to wear a mask at all times, and I don’t,” she said.

Swinton isn’t the only high-profile actor in Hollywood to voice his disagreement with the continued use of COVID protocols on set. Last November, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher applauded Disney for her decision to lift vaccination mandates for a dozen of her television productions, believing those mandates were too exclusive despite her choosing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine herself.

“To think that every human being on the planet can take a vaccine is ridiculous and to make this vaccine the criterion for determining who is allowed to work, travel, dine, go to the theater, etc. is a violation of the Persons with Disabilities Act, freedom of religion. Sovereignty of deeds and bodies,” Drescher said.

At last month’s SAG Awards, Drescher reaffirmed her support for the lifting of vaccination mandates, saying she “hopes we see everyone back to work with equal opportunity” as the Biden administration is on the hook. close to ending national COVID emergency protocols in May.

Woody Harrelson, meanwhile, double on his ‘SNL’ attack on COVID safety protocols in a New York Times interview, saying he can ‘no longer wear a mask’ and ‘test less’ than crew members on the productions he’s on recently worked, but feels it is no longer necessary to require everyone in the immediate firing area – called “Area A” on the back-to-work agreement – ​​to wear a mask.

“I don’t think anyone should have the right to demand that you have to do the tests, wear the mask and get vaccinated three years later,” he said. “I’m just like, ‘Let’s get this nonsense over with. It’s not fair to the crews. I don’t need to wear the mask. Why should they? Why should they be vaccinated? How doesn’t it depend on the individual?

While workers’ guilds and Hollywood studios agreed to relax some testing requirements and even dropping them entirely for productions outside of Area A, back-to-work agreement protocols for the immediate filming area continue to require all cast and crew to wear masks. The protocols are set for review and possible renewal at the end of March.

Swinton’s comments were first reported by Variety. Swinton Complete SXSW Panel can be viewed here.

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