Should we put our safety at risk for television?

Nithyasree Thudi, Contributing Writer

342,000. That is the number of COVID- 19 confirmed cases in Los Angeles County in California, known for its art and entertainment production. For over a hundred years, Hollywood has been creating and televising numerous television programs. However, in March when news of the global pandemic broke almost all filming in Hollywood stopped immediately.

Recently, many television shows have gone back to filming even though Coronavirus cases are still growing and increasing in areas of filming. Going back to filming while cases are still growing is very dangerous and can cost lives. Making money should not be considered more important than a human life. Around 900 cases of COVID- 19 are being reported every day in LA County according to public health officials. While most places are slowly starting to open up, I would assume Los Angeles was more than hesitant to reopen due to the large population and atmosphere of the city which is very party and event-oriented. Local health officials have also addressed not having enough tests to accurately confirm the number of people with Coronavirus. And the average amount of tests per person in a week is upwards of three for members of production teams and actors for television. It seems like while LA is struggling to get tests, production teams seem to have unlimited amounts.

While the county has been struggling to get tests to the general public, many studios are giving three tests a week to the hundreds of set crews and actors still filming. We shouldn’t prioritize people in the entertainment business just because they have the money to do so. Over 300 tests are misused a week when there are people in desperate need of them. Famous people don’t deserve tests any more than the working class. The same working class that holds up our economy, the same working class that goes to work in high-risk places to put food on the table, and the same people who need the most help in this global pandemic.

The irresponsible use of tests and having large groups of people on sets are extremely harmful to the city of Los Angeles, which is still in the beginning stages of re-opening. Sets should be confined to the most important members. The people on set should also be expected to social distance and be safe. If people were safe then there would be no need for wasting a ridiculous amount of tests per show. Shows instead could’ve been delayed or done filming in places with fewer people to create a safer environment.

Consequently, the non-proper care of filming environments will cause more detrimental effects like causing more people to get Covid or even causing the city to go back onto lockdown. Filming crews should wait for safer numbers before producing content again and should be taking more precautions. Many things can be done better especially since people’s lives are put at risk for “ABC ‘s hit new show.” Our priorities should not be with a character on a tv show but rather the people and economy.