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Tyler Perry Delays Start of Production on BET+ Series Following Omicron Surge

January 7, 2022 10:32 | By
Tyler Perry

Image via Lionsgate

Tyler Perry Studios has delayed the start of production on one of its television shows after several COVID-19 tests from cast and crew recently came back positive, Below the Line has learned.

TPS tested all cast and crew during pre-production for Season 2 of the BET+ series All the Queen’s Men, and the alarming results (rumored to be 16 cases) prompted Perry to shift the start date of the series to mid-January. However, due to the ongoing Omicron surge and the variant’s increased transmission rates, the show is now aiming to start shooting at the end of January, according to an individual familiar with Perry’s plans.

The studio itself continues to operate safely on a day-to-day basis, as there are outside productions that shoot on the Tyler Perry Studios lot, but Perry’s own productions aren’t expected to shoot until the end of the month out of an abundance of caution.

Perry has publicly been a big proponent of COVID vaccines, and rather than wait for the entertainment industry to adopt a uniform policy regarding vaccinations, he recently decided to lead by example and issue a vaccine mandate for cast and crew working in Zone A on his productions. Netflix and Disney have similar policies, while other studios mandate vaccinations on a project-by-project basis.

All the Queen's Men

Image via BET+

Perry himself was reportedly vaccinated in January 2021, and he also produced a BET special titled COVID-19 and the Black Community. He has also been very vocal in interviews and on social media about the importance of getting vaccinated, and he even held a vaccination drive at TPS last April. TPS also plans to independently verify everyone’s vaccination status due to the uptick in reports of fake vaccination cards, both in Hollywood and in general, so there’s no question that Perry is doing his part as a leader within the entertainment industry.

Deadline reports that 95% of cast members on Perry’s shows have been vaccinated, though the percentage of vaccinated crew members is somewhat lower. As of April 2021, 55% of Perry’s crews had received at least one dose of the vaccine, though that figure has no doubt increased since then.

It’s important to remember that while the vaccine is a personal choice, it’s also not necessarily about the individual getting the jab, but protecting everyone around them, and that includes their co-workers. Just be mindful that production is about collaboration, so the industry (cast and crew, A-lister and intern) is in this together, for better or worse.

Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] if you hear of any other productions either shutting down, getting delayed, or ignoring proper safety protocols, and stay safe out there, folks!