Report: Apple TV+ Series Used Unlicensed Doctor for Coronavirus Testing

Worrying news from the set of "Truth Be Told"

BET Presents The 51st NAACP Image Awards - Show
Octavia Spencer speaks onstage during the 51st NAACP Image Awards, Presented by BET.
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Getting the film and television industry back up and running during the pandemic has been a trying process for many people. It’s involved the establishment of specific guidelines to keep sets safe and establish guidelines for COVID-19 testing. It’s led to some changes in the way things are done, but if that’s keeping casts and crews safe, these changes are hard to argue with.

What happens when an essential, required part of the coronavirus testing routine turns out to not be taking place as advertised? That’s the controversy currently erupting around the Apple TV+ show Truth Be Told, which stars Octavia Spencer and debuted last year. A new report from Newsweek makes a shocking revelation: the man hired to conduct COVID-19 tests for the show’s second season was not licensed to practice medicine in the state of California — thus violating the state’s guidelines for film and television production.

At the center of the controversy is Lucas Furst, the man hired to conduct the testing for the show until his firing in mid-November. Alarmingly, his replacements on the set determined that an actor Furst had declared to be clear to work had, in fact, tested positive for COVID-19.

Newsweek‘s report makes the source of at least some of the issues very clear. When it comes to coronavirus testing, the article’s authors write, “California law requires that all such tests destined for laboratories be conducted under the supervision of state-licensed doctors, which Furst is not.”

Further complicating matters are several pieces of evidence that Furst padded his resume, claiming to have held positions he never did. Under different circumstances, this might not be as alarming, but given the pandemic, the stakes are far higher — and the potential dangers are much greater.

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