Entertainment world must prioritize safety

Story by Haylieh Palma Martinez, Feature Writer

Students across America have not entered a classroom in nearly a year, yet 22,000 guests were present at the Super Bowl. Essential workers work excruciating hours but influencers travel on a weekly basis. We should all know by now that social status comes with privilege, to me at least, it has become abundantly clear. Even so, I can’t help but to find it appalling that the entertainment industry has been given a free pass in the midst of a pandemic. 

From employing big-time film producers to the actions of social media influencers, the entertainment industry includes a wide variety of jobs, all of which are crucial to enlightening our emotions. According to Slide on Venus Media INC, entertainment reduces stress levels, nurtures cultural diversity and promotes talent and creativity. In other words, entertainment is necessary for the human mind, whether we like to acknowledge it or not. 

Personally, I know that entertainment plays a major role in my day to day life. Being completely honest, I would find it very difficult to go one sole day without watching a single episode of my current obsessions on Netflix. However, I do not believe that our needs for entertainment extend to the point of putting aside COVID-19 protocols for media production.


Specifically in Los Angeles County, a media production hotspot, the Public Health Department has implemented set protocols in a staged approach to allow music, film and television to continue. Following a mask mandate, these industries must also limit production crew to 50 people or less while testing employees on a weekly basis. Additionally, a quarantine period is required for individuals that have been in contact with a person diagnosed with Covid-19.

While it remains true that production crews are expected to follow these health precautions, indoor sets are still high-risk locations according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not only are these employees putting themselves at risk, but they could put others at risk in the unfortunate event that they unknowingly contract the virus. 


Another concern comes from the influencer spectrum of the entertainment industry. Just recently as I was scrolling through Tik-Tok, I came across a video demonstrating that influencer Nikita Dragun hosted a birthday party at her California home with the excuse that all attendees were tested for the virus. Quite simply, the party was held at the expense of wasting valuable tests. Additionally, it is important to note that large gatherings are still prohibited in the state of California. 

The United States has now surpassed 500,000 COVID-related deaths and the entertainment industry still searches for an excuse to validate their actions. I do not know in how many more ways this can be said, but Covid is NOT going away anytime soon unless we stop prioritizing Grey’s Anatomy over health. 

I am by no means trying to invalidate a world that brings happiness to so many people. I am simply trying to put things into perspective. For now, we can rely on old concert videos or even watching old movies and TV-shows. This is not a life we will always live but that future is one that cannot be achieved unless we take action now.