SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher Calls For Review Of Hollywood’s COVID Vaccination Mandate

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SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher, saying that Hollywood’s Covid vaccination mandate “walks the razor’s edge of compromising religious, disability and body sovereignty freedoms,” is urging the guild’s national board to review the most up-to-date science on the effectiveness of vaccines on the spread of the virus’ latest variant before agreeing to extend the industry’s vaccination mandate.

The industry’s Covid protocols, which include a narrowly defined provision that allows employers to require vaccinations as a condition of employment, expire on September 30. The mandates, however, are “subject to reasonable accommodations as required by law for individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to disability or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance,” though opponents argue that those exceptions are too rarely allowed.

Drescher made a similar plea at a contentious board meeting last month, when members of the guild’s political factions that supported her election last year reportedly yelled at her during the meeting, claiming that she was “misinformed” about some aspects of the effectiveness of the vaccine. “The board blew up at her for two hours,” said a person who attended the meeting. “She took a lot of unfair, disrespectful attacks for speaking her truth.” Others in attendance, however, said, “No one was disrespectful to Fran.”

Writing in the current issue of the SAG-AFTRA Magazine, Drescher expressed “concern that giving employers the discretionary rights to decide which of us can or can’t work based on our medical history is a dangerous slippery slope. If an employer can decide you can’t work unless Covid vaccinated, what’s next, we can’t work without a monkeypox vaccine?”

“I fully understand and appreciate the importance the vaccine has played in the saving of lives during the early years of the pandemic,” she wrote. “I myself am vaccinated. And when it was added to the Return To Work Agreement (RTWA) last year, it certainly seemed like the right thing to do.”

By David Robb

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