Tyler Perry Studios mandating COVID-19 vaccines for primary cast and crew

Tyler Perry Studios

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Tyler Perry Studios

The impetus was recent COVID-19 cases during pre-production of a BET+ show.

Tyler Perry Studios is mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for its primary cast and crew.

This mandate, which includes boosters if the person is eligible, covers what is called “Zone A,” which consists of actors and those who come in close proximity of them. Deadline broke the news.

This won’t necessarily stop people turning up positive because there have been more breakthrough cases with the current omicron variant. Several celebrities in recent days who are vaccinated have tested positive with no symptoms or modest symptoms including James Corden, Hugh Jackman and Whoopi Goldberg.

Perry tried to start production of season 2 of the BET+ series “All the Queen’s Men” starring Eva Marcille at his studios before Christmas. But they had 16 pre-production positive tests, precipitating the new policy, Deadline said, citing unnamed sources. And given the current omicron-fueled spike in cases, Perry delayed the beginning of production until Jan. 31.

Deadline also said the studio will independently verify vaccination status to deter people from using fake vaccination cards.

Perry spoke with Deadline about the challenges of shooting any TV show or film with so many breakthrough COVID-19 cases happening.

“Between the conflicting rules of the CDC and the unions, as an independent studio it’s difficult to navigate and operate efficiently,” Perry told Deadline. “I wish they were on the same page, but I also understand the complexities of a pandemic that changes daily.”

Perry was the first studio to start back scripted production after the pandemic began by quarantining the entire cast and crew at his studio starting in June 2020 until April 2021, when vaccines became widely available. He has also been an avid supporter of vaccines.

Netflix and Disney productions, many of which are shot in Georgia, now have comparable policies while other studios have done so on a show-by-show basis.