On Monday, June 1st, the entertainment industry released a 22-page-long “white paper” to the governors of New York and California, as well as to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The paper was intended to be a first step at establishing safety guidelines for when production on the 4 soaps, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful as well as other TV shows and movies resume.
The paper, and the guidelines within, were developed by the Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Committee Task force, which is made up of production companies, unions, and guilds. The approximately 50-member task force includes safety personnel, labor relations members from the major studios, and union reps from SAG-AFTRA.
A representative from SAG-AFTRA explained, “This document is an initial set of principles and guidelines that we all agree form a relevant and realistic first step to protecting cast and crew in the reopening of the entertainment and media industry in its two largest markets.” One of these markets would be LA County, which is the county in which B&B, Y&R, DOOL, and GH film.
The plan includes regular periodic testing, as well as social distancing within 6 feet “except when doing so is incompatible with job duties.” Of course, what that means for actors is unclear at this point, given that actors must regularly interact with each other at a distance much closer than 6 feet.
The paper does say that “the number of people involved in close proximity with a performer should be kept to a minimum whenever possible. If a performer requires work by more than one make-up artist/hairstylist, make-up artists/hairstylists should observe appropriate PPE requirements, and both performer and make-up artist/hairstylist should observe hand hygiene practices immediately after completing the task.”
The committee also recommended that each member of cast and crew be tested before their first day of work to make sure they are virus-free. “Recommended options include electronic survey, manual screening and/or temperature spot-checks.”
The bottom line here is that the industry is moving in the right direction. Of course, there will probably be unforeseen challenges going forward, but this seems to be the entertainment industry’s way of expressing that they’re taking the situation seriously and are making an effort to get production back in the safest way possible.
We’ll keep you up to speed on any additional news that comes in about production resumption, and in particular how the New York and California governors may respond to the entertainment industry’s efforts to move forward and get closer to a day when production may resume.
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