Sean Penn recently made the headlines when he refused to return to the set of his latest project – a TV thriller titled Gaslit until all the cast and crew were vaccinated. In an interview with CNN, Penn doubled down on his stance and emphasised how important it was for audiences as well as actors to be fully vaccinated.
“I am so grateful that audiences — and yes, we’ll come around to that I would request only vaccinated audiences — have an opportunity to see this theatrically,” the actor said. “It’s rare these days to have something that is exclusively theatrical. Eventually it will stream, and that’s a better time for the unvaccinated to see it, though I think I’ll probably offend them out of that choice.”
Penn reminded viewers that the pandemic wasn’t over yet, urging audiences to stay home and wait for their vaccine doses before deciding to venture out and watch films in theatres once again: “I do request people who are not vaccinated, don’t go to the cinemas. Stay home until you are convinced of these very clearly safe vaccines.”
“I didn’t want to feel complicit in something that was taking care of one group and not the other,” Penn added. “And I do believe that everyone should get vaccinated. I believe it should be mandatory, like turning your headlights on in the car at night.”
While discussing the kinds of people who are unwilling to take the vaccine due to various reasons, Penn elaborated: “There are those that, once the FDA gives full approval, will go forward with it. And there are those who have become entrenched in a kind of radical libertarianism and an identity of politic that has sort of perversely turned this issue into something that forgets that in the United States of America — in our entire history — it’s all based on being independent because we understand interdependency.”
He added: “The entire history of successful things in this country. And if we’re gonna continue with successful things — if we’re gonna take some of the great lessons that have been learned in the last year, some of the extraordinary movements, George Floyd, all of what’s happening societally — if we’re gonna take the good parts of that and move it forward, we’re gonna do it interdependently. And I think vaccination is the beginning of that, given that it’s such a threat now to business, to lifestyle, to life here and around the world.”