Growing resistance within Hollywood to challenge the status quo on various hot-topic items led to a forceful condemnation of health measures demanded of actors and actresses several years after the onset of the global pandemic.
Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton voiced her displeasure with masking protocols on the set of films, pointing out that most people have stopped the practice and that some people never really wore them in the first place.
“We’ve had different challenges in the last few years particularly, and some of them are lingering around people’s belief in sitting in big spaces,” Swinton said during a speaking engagement at the popular SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas.
“Look at you. I bet none of you are wearing masks, as well. I mean, who knew that was going to be possible?” she continued. “There was a time … I mean, in Texas, did people even wear masks? I have to ask … I don’t know, it’s a wide world and people do things differently all over.”
Her remarks came in front of a large, mostly-unmasked audience. For that reason, she wondered, why were they not forced to mask, and yet film sets still required them? The disconnect between practices and personal safety was clearly on her mind.
“I’m actually just about to start shooting a picture in Ireland, and I was told — full disclosure, and I’m sure this is being recorded and people in Ireland might hear it — to wear a mask at all times, and I’m not wearing a mask because I’m super healthy and I’ve had COVID so many times and I’m so full of antibodies and I have faith,” Swinton said.
Swinton has previously shared her experience with long Covid, the result of one of her exposures. Despite her insistence on moving on at this point, she made sure to bring up in a different interview that what she endured was not pleasant in the least.
“I was coughing like an old gentleman who smoked a pipe for 70 years, and had nasty vertigo. I got off relatively lightly, but the worst thing is how it affected my brain,” she told The Guardian in an interview last January.
“I did two films that I had to learn a lot of text for. One was the Wes Anderson and he likes you to speak like a speeding train,” Swinton continued. “I’m normally quite quick at studying, and picking stuff up, but this was like chewing a really big piece of gum. I couldn’t remember my lines.”
The Daily Wire noted that Swinton is far from alone is joining a more vocal chorus of prominent actors who have since spoken up about mandates and protocols in the film industry, saying:
Several other celebrities, including Fran Drescher and Woody Harrelson, have also recently voiced their disagreement with ongoing COVID protocols in Hollywood.
Drescher said in February that she doesn’t believe vaccine mandates are necessary. Harrelson called COVID protocol “nonsense” and said the Hollywood community needs to stop forcing vaccination.
“That’s not a free country,” the actor insisted.
And Tim Robbins famously did an about-face around the same time as Swinton shared her own battle with long Covid when he came out against mandates and social pressure for choosing or not choosing to get vaccinated.
“Illness is no one’s fault. The virus infects vaxxed and unvaxxed. May we reach out in this confusing time and take care of each other. Surprise someone with kindness. Love and respect each other, not products or platforms or personalities keeping us in fear and divisiveness,” said during a lengthy thread on Twitter in January of 2022.
“May we find a way to forgive those who trespass on our sensibilities, on our opinion of what is right and wrong and may we have the courage and the humility to live in a future of love, empathy and dialogue, a future that wishes health on our neighbor and not death that allows those that we have chosen to live in opposition with the same respect as we expect. A future that questions any government or societal demand for compliance to any ideology, whether that ideology is based in science, politics, technology, religion or fiction,” he continued.
“Freedom is ours to protect and it is not protected by coercing, intimidating or forcing those we disagree with into compliance. It’s protection means we must allow people autonomy when it comes to their own bodies, as uncomfortable as that may make some of us support everyone’s right to whatever medicine they feel is right for their immune system. If the vaccine will help you stay healthy & survive this pandemic it is your absolute right to take it. If you use vitamins and off label drugs to survive that is also your right,” he went on.
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