Maskless 2021 Emmys defended by Los Angeles County after criticism over lack of COVID-19 safety protocols

·2 min read

Despite online backlash and a bit from presenter Seth Rogen, the 2021 Emmy Awards did not violate coronavirus safety protocols, the Los Angeles Department of Health says.

The Sunday night broadcast caught flack online as the packed ceremony seemed to toss safety precautions to the wind. Very few – if any – masks were worn and social distancing was not in place between groups of people.

When he presented an award early in the night, Rogen compared the event to being in a "hermetically sealed tin." Host Cedric the Entertainer later explained, however, that all attendees were vaccinated.

In a statement to Fox News, the Department of Health explained that because of the nature of the event, the crowded venue was not in violation of any suggested safety guidelines.

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Despite mask mandates being in place in Los Angeles County – for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people – "exceptions are made for film, television, and music productions, as additional safety modifications are made for these controlled interactions," the department said.

"The Emmy Award Show is a television production, and persons appearing on the show are considered performers," read the statement. "All persons appearing on or in the audience of the Emmy Award Show were fully vaccinated against COVID-19."

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Additionally, the department was told that all attendees tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of the event. Similarly, production crews were required to be vaccinated or test negative for the virus twice per week.

"The Emmys reached out to Public Health in advance to share their safety protocols, which exceeded the baseline requirements for television and film productions," the organization continued. "Careful planning before large events is essential to assure that all health and safety requirements are adequately addressed."

Additionally, a satellite venue in England hosted some international stars, including those involved with Netflix's "The Crown." Olivia Colman and Gillian Anderson both accepted their acting awards from the venue.

"Full vaccination of all attendees is one of the most powerful ways to achieve a safe environment. Testing of event participants and crew and optimizing ventilation are additional powerful tools," the Department of Health said. "Public Health will continue review the protocols of future large television production events and prescribe additional safety modifications to mitigate risk of COVID-19 transmission."

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The Television Academy did not respond to Fox News' previous request for comment on the matter.

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