LOS ANGELES — Sunday’s unmasked, socially undistanced, indoor Emmys ceremony prompted many — including presenter Seth Rogen — to wonder if awards shows are somehow exempt from COVID-19 protocols.
Well, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has spoken, and the answer is: Actually, yeah, kinda.
In response to an outcry over this year’s show — which saw hundreds of nominees, presenters and guests gather unmasked and in close proximity inside a decorated tent at L.A. Live — health officials released a statement Monday absolving participants of their alleged pandemic crimes.
“The Emmy Award show is a television production, and persons appearing on the show are considered performers,” the health department said in a statement obtained by Spectrum News.
“All persons appearing on or in the audience of the Emmy Award show were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Also, Public Health was informed that each of these persons had a verified negative PCR test prior to the show.”
After more than a year of virtual and outdoor awards shows, featuring top talent in fashionable face coverings, Sunday’s Emmys telecast resembled a return to pre-pandemic times — though the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to sweep across California and abroad.
Even Rogen, who presented the first award of the night, couldn’t help but comment on the apparent lack of COVID-19 regulations during the CBS broadcast, which drew 7.4 million viewers.
“Let me start by saying there is way too many of us in this little room,” he quipped before presenting the award for supporting actress in a comedy series to “Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham (and flubbing her name in the process).
“What are we doing? They said this was outdoors. It is not. They lied to us. ... We’re in a hermetically sealed tent right now. I would not have come to this. Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than to make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight. That has been decided.”
Because attendees were immunized and the production crew also was required to be fully vaccinated (or frequently tested leading up to the event), the local health department has dismissed Rogen’s widely shared concerns.
“Public Health will continue to review the protocols of future large television production events and prescribe additional safety modifications to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” the agency said.
Vaccinated or not, those not actively participating in a music, TV or film production are still required to wear face coverings indoors in L.A.
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