Netflix to require COVID-19 vaccinations for actors, staff in Hollywood first
Netflix will be introducing mandatory vaccination rules for all its US productions, the first major Hollywood studio to implement the policy, according to media reports.
The policy will cover all casts on the sets of its US productions, as well as any staff that come into contact with them, online news site Deadline reported Wednesday.
Hollywood producers have the option to implement mandatory vaccination rules for their casts and crew based on new return-to-work protocols agreed by industry groups last week, Deadline said, but Netflix is the first to implement.
The decision by the streaming giant comes as US COVID-19 cases begin to rise again as the highly contagious Delta variant begins to spread. Europe has already been suffering from an outbreak of the more virulent strain, and began implementing stricter border controls and social distancing measures earlier this month in a bid to contain the virus.
The pandemic caused Netflix to see strong growth last year as government mandated lockdowns around the world kept people at home and looking for entertainment.
Last week, the company reported that it had ended the second quarter of 2021 with 209 million paid subscribers and a revenue of $7.3 billion – up 19 percent from the same period last year.
Profit was reported at $1.35 billion as compared to $1.7 billion in the preceding quarter. The net income figure missed market expectations.
Netflix said it is continuing to invest in content as production recovers from pandemic-caused delays, and that it is “in the early stages of expanding into games.”
“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” Netflix said in an earnings release.
“Games will be included in members’ Netflix subscription at no additional cost similar to films and series.”