Sean Penn has spoken out against people who are choosing not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying that being unvaccinated is like "going around pointing a gun in somebody's face."
The actor made the remarks while speaking with CNN's Michael Smerconish, who mentioned that, although he respected "individual liberties," people who did not have the jab were running the risk of contaminating others, according to Newsweek.
Penn agreed, stating that he did have "some areas of strong belief in the Second Amendment" but in this instance, "you can't go around pointing a gun in somebody's face, which is what it is when people are unvaccinated."
During the interview, Penn also discussed his decision not to return to the set of his new show, "Gaslit," until everyone on the production received their vaccinations.
A Deadline report earlier this year described how NBCUniversal, the studio behind the crime drama based on the Watergate scandal, made the decision to implement mandatory vaccinations in "Zone A," which are areas where cast and crew working were working within close proximity of one another. Those requirements are not being imposed on others though— something that Penn feels strongly against.
"Actors are protected, but if a stage hand is working alongside a stage hand who is not protected then they can get sick. I didn't want to feel complicit in something that was just taking care of one group and not the other," he said.
"I believe it should be mandatory, like turning your headlights on in a car at night, but obviously that's not going to happen tomorrow and yet, at least it can happen in some areas and businesses, a lot of businesses are starting to take the lead on that. So I'll go back to 'Gaslit,' I'll go back when I can be assured that 100 percent of the crew has gotten vaccinated," he continued.
In July, sources told Deadline that while the studio has been sympathetic towards Penn's wish, and taken measures to adhere to safety protocols on the set, it may not be in the legal position to impose mandatory vaccinations. Penn meanwhile has offered to drive vaccination efforts free of charge through his organization CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort).
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