Netflix will require that its actors and their close contacts be vaccinated against COVID-19 on all of its U.S.-based productions, TheWrap has learned.
The streaming giant becomes the first Hollywood company to broadly mandate any kind of vaccination. For now, the mandate only covers those considered “Zone A,” which includes the cast and everyone who comes in close contact with them. The mandates are part of the new changes to Hollywood’s Return to Work agreement, which was renewed earlier this month.
Netflix declined to comment.
The streaming service would not be the only one to implement this mandate. Universal Content Productions’ Watergate TV series “Gaslit” for Starz currently requires those in Zone A to be vaccinated — though its star Sean Penn wants them to go even further and make vaccinations mandatory for the entire crew.
It took industry guilds and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers an extra three weeks after the Return to Work Agreement’s June 30 deadline to come to terms on a new deal, and they will meet again in late September for another round of potential revisions. Multiple individuals with knowledge of the talks told TheWrap that the guilds and studios needed the extra time to strike a balance between maintaining COVID safety and allowing studios to cut down on pandemic-related costs that have caused a surge in production budgets.
The changes that the two sides tentatively agreed to last week do allow for looser restrictions on outdoor mask-wearing and food service for cast and crew who are fully vaccinated, as well as potential changes to testing protocols for vaccinated individuals and productions in areas where infection rates are very low.
But they also came with the option for productions and studios to implement mandates, which Netflix has apparently done.
Deadline was the first to report on Netflix’s mandate.