Tyler Perry Studios implemented a Covid-19 vaccine mandate—including booster shots for those who are eligible—for cast members and some crew members this week, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to Forbes on Thursday, adding to a growing number of companies requiring the shot amid the omicron surge.
Tyler Perry Studios, which is based in Atlanta and produces BET and BET+ shows like Assisted Living and Ruthless, is requiring vaccination and booster shots for actors and crew members who work closely with them, according to Deadline, which first reported the news.
Netflix and Disney are also requiring cast and crew to get vaccinated.
The policy will be “strictly enforced,” according to Deadline.
35.3%. That’s how many people ages 5 and older are fully vaccinated in Fulton County, Georgia, which Atlanta is part of, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s well below the national average of 66.2%. Other movie and TV hubs have much higher vaccination rates: In Los Angeles County, 71.7% of the 5-and-older population is fully vaccinated, and 72.8% of the population in New York City is fully vaccinated.
Perry was one of the first producers to return to work amid the onset of the pandemic in April 2020. The producer has hosted vaccination drives at his studio for employees, and 95% of his cast members are vaccinated, according to Deadline. When major Hollywood studios and unions agreed to Covid-19 standards when returning to productions, vaccine mandates were not implemented on a widespread basis. Instead, the agreement gave individual producers power to mandate them on a production-by-production basis, according to Deadline.
Perry’s mandate comes as the entertainment industry is struggling with widespread closures and delays because of the resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Wednesday, the Grammy Awards postponed its January ceremony and the Sundance Film Festival announced it would be going all-virtual for the second year in a row. Production of several shows, including 9-1-1, NCIS: LA and Grey’s Anatomy, have all been delayed in some capacity because of the intense rise in cases around the county.