2021 starts off with a bummer for those of us looking to watch new films in the new year. It’s undeniable that Covid cases will continue to have an effect on filmmaking, and according to SAG-AFTRA, production in Southern California seems to be one of the first casualties.
Due to a massive surge of new cases, and hospitals being overwhelmed by patients beyond their capacities, SAG-AFTRA, the Producers Guild of America and the Joint Policy Committee have put together a statement asking for the “temporary hold on in-person production in Southern California.”
“Southern California hospitals are facing a crisis the likes of which we have never seen before. Patients are dying in ambulances waiting for treatment because hospital emergency rooms are overwhelmed. This is not a safe environment for in-person production right now,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.
SAG-AFTRA members in Southern California are encouraged to stay home and refrain from accepting on-set employment for the next several weeks. In the event that a Southern California-area SAG-AFTRA member is required to work during the next few weeks and has concerns about their safety on set, they are encouraged to reach out to the union.
The organizations are encouraging a production halt until more hospital beds are available. As Variety has previously reported, most major TV studios, including CBS TV Studios, Warner Bros. TV, Universal TV and Walt Disney-owned 20th TV and ABC Signature, last week extended their holiday production hiatus to mid-January.