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Hollywood sends clear message with Emmys: COVID is for the poor

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The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards show was ratioed on social media after many users noted what they saw as hypocrisy between maskless stars and masked staffers.

This year’s program, which aired Sunday, marked a return to a live, in-person format after more than a year’s worth of restrictions and mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic made such shows impossible.

During the show, few of the stars being honored and feted were seen wearing masks or engaging in social distancing, as many of them have recommended or even demanded of others over the past year-and-a-half.

Cedric the Entertainer, who hosted this year’s show, said that all of the people in attendance were required to prove they have been vaccinated for COVID and have a negative test. But many people, including stars like Seth Rogan, criticized a lack of mandates. Some noted that the A-listers were flouting rules that their own kids had to comply with in school.

“Good to be here at the Emmy Awards,” Rogen noted in comments as he began to present the first award of the evening. “Let me start by saying: there’s way too many of us in this little room.

“What are we doing?” Rogen continued, his voice rising. “They said this was outdoors—it’s not! They lied to us. We’re in a hermetically-sealed tent right now

“I would not have come to this. Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than that we make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight. That is what has been decided,” he continued.

“This is insane. I went from wiping my groceries to having Paul Bettany sneeze in my face—so, that’s a big week! If anyone’s gonna sneeze in my face, Paul, I want it to be you,” he said, concluding: “That’s all the jokes I wrote.”

It’s not clear if he was serious or merely kidding for the purpose of the program, the Daily Beast noted.

Nevertheless, the lack of COVID restrictions was also noted by social media users.

“Hollywood stars are currently sitting together maskless in a packed room at the Emmys… meanwhile my fully vaccinated kids are forced to wear masks all day at school. What a ridiculous world we’re living in!” said one user.

“Requiring kids in school to mask up, but no masks for the Emmy’s?!?” said another.

“Hollywood sent a clear message tonight: COVID is for the poor,” another noted.

Your child in school/ vs. #Emmys Hollywood elite. Covid is only for the peasants,” said another.

Added another user: “California has an indoor mask requirement but the emmys seem to be excused from it. I guess Covid and social distancing doesn’t apply to Hollywood? Notice other pics the help have to wear masks.”

DJ Reggie Watts, who is the bandleader for “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” pushed back on Rogan, saying before the first commercial break that “despite what Seth might have said, we’re going to celebrate and party, but while we’re doing that we’re absolutely following all the health and safety guidelines that some really smart people asked us to do to keep us safe from COVID.”

Jon Dougherty

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