Hollywood Pretends There Is No Pandemic

Hollywood is abandoning Covid precautions everywhere but black tie events.

According to the dominant narrative of film and TV over the past three years, Covid-19 never happened and is still not happening, despite a global death toll of nearly seven million within three years (and counting, plus tens of millions disabled). It's as if Covid has had no effect on the world whatsoever. [...]

Zone A is all performers and background actors and all employees who are present; there is no distancing or masking, and the zone is described as "a bubble encasing closely vetted vulnerable people." Vaccinated Zone A workers must test three times a week, including a required PCR test, with additional testing if scenes require intimate contact or "exertion."

Zone B are crew who work on set but don't get close to unmasked members of Zone A; masking is required and specific to N95's and above, and Zone B must also test three times a week with one being a lab PCR. Zones C and D are not allowed contact with Zone A. [...]

Zone A goes out of its way -- to its own detriment, as we're witnessing -- to avoid modeling Covid-safe behaviors, providing no explanation or context [...] Hollywood was contorting itself behind the scenes to prevent and avoid Covid in productions as well as award events. Yet simultaneously it became evident that Hollywood was very conspicuously erasing one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the twenty-first century from all dominant film, TV, and pop culture narratives. [...]

Actors, film and TV makers, and content creators have been perpetuating a fantasy for nearly three years that there is no pandemic. No "present day" shows or films acknowledge the real present day. By pretending in real life there is no pandemic in films and TV, no public health crisis affecting every corner of everyone's lives, no massive global event disabling our friends, putting our grandparents in coffins, and making our babies sick, we are being denied our ongoing collective experience.

We're being gaslit and mocked by the very people we're looking to for some relief in all of this. We're being robbed of our collective grief.

But hey, Tilda Swinton seems fine.

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11 Responses:

  1. Adam Fields says:

    didn’t they try this bubble thing at the beginning and everyone got covid?

  2. CSL3 says:

    Hollywood's "acknowledgement" of COVID:

    • CSL3 says:

      Also, I commented about this in Violet's latest CyberSec Round-Up, but I'm curious of it here, too: when the still-ongoing pandemic hits a point that writers and producers can't ignore (and it will; arguably, it already has), how will tv shows in particular handle it?

      It's bad enough not seeing COVID in modern films, but I'm used to film's "outside of time" approach after living through the eras of HIV-AIDS, 9/11, and more. But tv shows have long-running story arcs and established characters, all of whom have treated COVID one-of-three ways:

      1. a brief problem for one or two episodes in their 2021 seasons (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Woke, etc.)
      2. something that maybe, kinda, sorta existed, but doesn't actually affect the characters; it's only briefly mentioned so as to set the time as modern day (Rick & Morty, Poker Face with Natasha Lyonne, that Sex & the City reboot), or...
      3. not mentioning it at all (more shows than I can name)

      So, how do those shows (re)incorporate COVID without massive retcons across the board? Like, say all of a sudden, our trio from Only Murders in the Building say "Yeah, the reason I started listening to crime podcasts was because I had lots of free time during lockdowns". But that'll just bring up the question as to why no one in these shows is masked.

      • Jonny says:

        I don't think it takes much for media to ignore COVID; that's just art imitating life.  Maybe it's different where you are, but where I am, the only visible difference between 2023 and 2019 is the maybe 5-10% of folks that now wear masks on a regular basis (with that number varying depending upon where you are) and in healthcare settings where masks are now the standard in most places.  Walk into a bar in 2023, and it looks like 2019.  While many white collar jobs look different with more work from home, most other jobs remain unchanged.  How much you "see" the pandemic can vary pretty dramatically.  To a programmer (especially one with health concerns), the world looks entirely different because you don't drive to work anymore and experienced a full lock down.  To someone working at construction site or in manufacturing, nothing changed except there is now one extra life danger occasionally picking off people in your broad social circle.  

        For a lot of people in the US, especially those who are not now remote workers and haven't seen work change, COVID-19 is as ignorable as cancer or diabetes - which is to say something that obviously really matters and has a huge impact on the lives of basically everyone, but that you put out of mind and ignore until hits close to home.

    • CSL3 says:

      Holy Shit, I just binged The Bite last night! 😮 Two years later and it's like it was written this morning.

  3. fr2 says:

    Recommended reading against the rage: The Masque of Red Death by Poe

  4. fluffy says:

    One of the few TV shows that has acknowledged COVID and made it a part of its present-day storyline is The Conners, which still acknowledges that it's a thing (although it's only a background element at this point, just like real life I guess).

    I think there's a tendency for writers to want their stuff to appear "timeless" rather than becoming a period piece, but then completely ignore that everything about current-day culture is going to always date it in the future.

  5. Eric TF Bat says:

    OK, so maybe I only watch trash, but I can understand the Marvel shows ignoring the pandemic, given that they're still set slightly in the future after a universe-shaking five years of 50% of all life being snapped away; and the few remaining DC shows are similarly in a universe that has plenty of differences already, even for the five minutes that history remains static before Barry runs too fast and changes the timeline again.  Come to think of it, do I watch any shows set in THIS present?  I suspect I don't.  You may not know that The Orville mentioned it in passing as a thing that happened, but I know how you feel about Fart Trek: The Seth Generation so I won't expect you to be impressed.

    • CSL3 says:

      As much as I absolutely despise Seth MacFarlane and all his shows (which he doesn't even write), I have to admit that the best metaphor for Hollywood's erasure of COVID is best illustrated with an old Family Guy clip.

      • nooj says:

        And apparently we successfully ignored it for long enough, because Congress voted yesterday to end the Pandemic National Emergency.  And the Pandemic Health Emergency is scheduled to end in mid-May.  

        Vaccines and tests are about to get more expensive.

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