Producers in Hollywood are being asked to “put a pin in it” and “circle back” on productions until after the current coronavirus surge in Southern California is over.
SAG-AFTRA, the Producers Guild of America and The Joint Policy Committee (which is a multi-employer bargaining group that represents commercial advertisers and advertising agencies) are recommending a temporary hold on in-person production amid the pandemic.
Keep in mind, most of Tinsletown is already on hiatus for the holidays. Last week, most major TV studios, including CBS TV Studios, Warner Bros. TV, Universal TV and Walt Disney-owned 20th TV and ABC Signature, extended their holiday production hiatus until mid-January. This recommendation could keep Hollywood on sabbatical for another month, maybe more.
“Southern California hospitals are facing a crisis the likes of which we have never seen before,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris in the joint statement. “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.”
Of course, many productions already shoot outside of California in other states that offer tax breaks and huge incentives to call “Action!” outside of LaLa Land. This latest recommendation could encourage even more shows to set up their craft services tents in zip codes that are far more healthy for their bottom line (in more ways than one).