Woody Harrelson Calls On-Set COVID Protocols “Nonsense”

The actor called for an end to vaccine mandates in a new interview

Woody Harrelson at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2022.
Woody Harrelson at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2022.
Samir Hussein/WireImage

It turns out that the COVID-19 conspiracy theorizing he did in his Saturday Night Live monologue over the weekend wasn’t just a joke: Woody Harrelson has clarified his stance on vaccine mandates and other COVID protocols in a new interview with the New York Times, calling them “absurd” and “nonsense.”

Harrelson raised the issue almost unprompted during his conversation with Times reporter David Marchese, lamenting the fact that it’s more difficult to get independent films produced these days and adding, ” Especially with all the COVID protocols — which, to me, are rather absurd.”

After Marchese asked him what, exactly, is so absurd about the on-set protocols that are in place to prevent people from getting sick, Harrelson responded, “The fact that they’re still going on! I don’t think that anybody should have the right to demand that you’re forced to do the testing, forced to wear the mask and forced to get vaccinated three years on. I’m just like, Let’s be done with this nonsense. It’s not fair to the crews. I don’t have to wear the mask. Why should they? Why should they have to be vaccinated? How’s that not up to the individual? I shouldn’t be talking about this [expletive]. It makes me angry for the crew. The anarchist part of me, I don’t feel that we should have forced testing, forced masking and forced vaccination. That’s not a free country. Really I’m talking about the crew. Because I can get out of wearing a mask. I can test less. I’m not in the same position they’re in, but it’s wrong. It’s three years. Stop.”

“Anyway, as an anarchist, I don’t do well with mandates,” he added.

You know what else isn’t fair to the crews? When they catch a preventable disease — one that, it’s worth noting, is still potentially deadly or disabling — because someone else on set couldn’t be bothered to wear a mask.

Harrelson isn’t the only Hollywood celebrity to recently spew their anti-vax beliefs. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher used her speech during Sunday night’s SAG Awards to call for an end to on-set vaccine mandates. “As the nation declares an end to the COVID emergency this May, I hope we will see everyone return to work in equal opportunity,” she said. “Our industry brings billions of production dollars to states across the nation, but if they want our business, let’s wield our financial influence to make governors act in the best interest of freedom, diversity, inclusion and democracy. As my character Bobbi Flekman said in This Is Spinal Tap — money talks and bullshit walks.”

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