Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) on Thursday announced a new round of stay-at-home orders for the Golden State, which state “that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier.” Nearly every county in California is currently in the purple tier, accounting for 94% of the state’s population.
Deadline reported that Newsom’s office said Thursday that the order would not apply to workers in the entertainment industry, saying those workers were deemed “essential.” The original order included a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”
As Deadline reported:
On that list of exemptions, under “Industrial, Commercial, Residential, and Sheltering Facilities and Services,” there is essential worker designation 15 which reads, “Workers supporting the entertainment industries, studios, and other related establishments, provided they follow covid-19 public health guidance around physical distancing.”
The guidance does indicate this exemption only applies if remote work is not possible, but with film and TV production it is often not.
Film and TV production employees were not included on the essential workers list during the first California shutdown in March. Their addition to the list speaks to the success and strong protocols on set since then. The document was last updated September 22.
No one is suggesting film and TV production crews should not be allowed to work (and the world needs entertainment right now), rather, it seems odd that they would be included when many in the restaurant business (unless working for delivery services) are not and when schools are closed despite not being a high-risk source of spreading the coronavirus.
The very distinction of “essential” suggests that there are some people who simply aren’t necessary, when everyone’s job is essential to them and their families.
Newsom’s new order comes as he is in the midst of a scandal involving his own pandemic habits. As The Daily Wire previously reported, Newsom attended a birthday dinner for one of his advisers earlier this month against his own regulations.
“The dinner the night of Nov. 6 at the famed French Laundry in Yountville in Napa County brought together at least 12 people to celebrate the 50th birthday of Jason Kinney, a longtime friend and political adviser to Newsom who is also a partner at the lobbying firm Axiom Advisors,” The San Francisco Chronicle reported. “State guidelines limit gatherings, defined as ‘social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place,’ to no more than three households. Representatives for Kinney and Newsom declined to specify how many households the diners represented, but did not dispute that it was more than three.”
Attendees claimed the event was held outside, yet photos showed otherwise and witnesses said the sliding glass doors of the restaurant had to be closed because the group was so loud. Last week it was revealed that two top officials from the California Medical Association attended the dinner.
“CEO Dustin Corcoran and top CMA lobbyist Janus Norman both joined the dinner at the French Laundry, an elite Napa fine dining restaurant, to celebrate the 50th birthday of lobbyist and longtime Newsom adviser Jason Kinney, a representative of the powerful interest group confirmed Wednesday morning,” Politico reported. “The presence of CMA brass could amplify criticisms of the dinner occurring despite coronavirus restrictions that have limited Californians’ movements and constrained businesses.”
Newsom offered a tepid apology for violating rules that he demands others follow.