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Did the 2021 Emmys Violate COVID-19 Rules? Technically Not

So, Apparently the Emmys Were Exempt From Local COVID-19 Rules

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Cast and crew such as Leann Bowen, Jeff Ingold , Tina Pawlik, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster , Bill Lawrence, Brett Goldstein, Hannah Waddingham, Jason Sudeikis, Juno Temple, Brendan Hunt, Bill Wrubel, Phoebe Walsh, and Nick Mohammed, winners of the Outstanding Comedy Series award for Ted Lasso, pose in the press room during the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A. LIVE on September 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has spoken: the 2021 Emmys didn't technically violate COVID-19 protocols. Despite the fact that face masks and social distancing were nonexistent as upward of 500 celebrities packed into an enclosed tent at L.A. Live, the award show was exempt from adhering to local mandates. Seemingly responding to Seth Rogen's critiques of the gathering, LA health officials released a statement defending the ceremony's lack of certain regulations.

"LA County's Health Officer order requires everyone to wear a mask indoors, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated," the statement read. "However, exceptions are made for film, television, and music productions, as additional safety modifications are made for these controlled interactions." For the Emmys, those "additional safety modifications" included ensuring that all attendees were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and showed proof of a negative PCR test 48 hours before the show, which had apparently "exceeded the baseline requirements for television and film productions."

The statement continued: "Careful planning before large events is essential to assure that all health and safety requirements are adequately addressed . . . Public Health will continue to review the protocols of future large television production events and prescribe additional safety modifications to mitigate risk of COVID-19 transmission."

During the show on Sunday evening, Rogen expressed his concerns about presenting on stage in what he referred to as a "hermetically sealed tent." "Let me start by saying there's way too many of us in this little room," the actor said. "What are we doing? They said this was outdoors. It's not. They lied to us . . . I would not have come to this." Although a Television Academy representative said guests would be expected to wear masks when not on camera during the show, it was quite evident this loose rule was not followed. Hopefully future award show organizers take notes and hold celebrities to the same standard as the general public as the Delta variant continues to spread.

Image Source: Getty / Al Seib
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