Friday, May 29, 2020

Blind Item #8 - Behind The Screen

There is a popular, studio-supported narrative this foreign born alliterate actress quit because she accepted the role without understanding the hard work involved. That "don't understand the hard work and what it entails" narrative was present in the production during the 1st season, used to excuse extremely lax safety protocols and a cavalier attitude toward cast and crew safety.

The show had its first catastrophic on-set safety incident involving hospitalization in its first week of shooting. Accidents, stunts gone wrong, special effects gone wrong, even injuries during location scouting occurred so reliably and regularly that "floating" crew were unofficially advised by local veterans not to take a call from anyone associated with the show.

Our actress was injured on the set multiple times, requiring multiple hospital trips. For her major surgery production provided the shortest liability/legally permissible force majeure time off (6 shooting days). After the surgery the medical and safety restrictions on her activity were not respected, putting her in constant risk of injury and long-term or permanent disability. The pain from her cumulative injuries seemed substantial and was also not respected or accommodated.

The last injury came just before forced shut down for COVID19 when a PA was hit in the head by a descending lift. They are facing possible permanent paralysis.

The actress quit a show with a proven record of taking extreme and unnecessary risks, showing total disregard for safety of cast and crew, and blasting right past all protocols or procedures when that production culture resulted in multiple, potentially life-threatening, injuries.

The timing of her stepping down coincides with the BC government announcing a fast track to bring back high-visibility film projects like this show with safety protocols almost entirely at the discretion of unions, productions, and parties of interest. With the show's safety record, and given that this record did not at any time provoke a production halt or a union-led stop work order, concern about work safety during COVID19 is well founded in general, especially so in BC, and extremely so for this show, a show on which injury, disease, dismemberment, and death are not possible, but matters of recorded fact.

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