Speaking to an audience full of celebrities on Emmys night, actor Seth Rogan went off script for a moment and commented on the fact that the event was being held in a "hermetically-sealed" tent in the midst of a global pandemic.
"Let me start by saying there are way too many of us in this little room! What are we doing? They said this was outdoors! It's not! They lied to us! We're in a hermetically sealed tent right now. I would not have come to this. Why is there a roof?" Rogan said, whose comments immediately went viral.
Now, producers behind the show are hitting back. Speaking to Variety, producer Ian Stewart said that the Emmys crew worked for "months and months" to make the event a COVID "safe space."
"We've worked with all the health authorities. We were signed off by LA County, we came up with a plan with them. Those tables were distanced. Everyone was vaccinated," Stewart said. "Everyone was negative tested in that audience. And also he had rehearsed. So he knew exactly what it was. So, I just felt it was an unfortunate misdirect from him. Because it wasn't just our decision. This is the health authorities' decision as well, to say that it's a completely safe environment if you do all those things."
Stewart went on to say that the "many discussions to get [health protocols] right feel a little bit wasted" thanks to Rogan's rant.
"We work in this industry, we're desperately aware of COVID. I've done 50 productions nearly in COVID and not have people get sick. So, it's deeply frustrating," Stewart said.