9-1-1 star Angela Bassett shared how the hit Fox series handled the safety measures for the pandemic.
In an interview with Essence, Bassett spoke about how face masks are depicted this season. Much like real life, when the first responders are in public, their custom department face masks are worn.
“First responders, we would wear them, we would be cognizant and careful in how we handle ourself,” she said. “But we take the opportunity to take them off. If you’re home and, you know, in your bubble with your family you would have them off. I don’t wear them around the house here. So we bring that into the storyline and of course, as the actors, we’re being very safe.”
She also questioned if they should also promote other medical safety practices that first responders promote.
“I was asking about, do you want us to take the flu shot? What else do you want us to do?” she added with a laugh.
An Abrupt Exit From ‘9-1-1’
With COVID-19 still raging on, the majority of television and movie studios have put vaccination mandates in place. This is because the majority of work is done without face masks for the casts. The new common practice has to adhere for most major studios for those who are in “Zone A”. The zone includes both the cast and crew who interact with them on the set.
The 9-1-1 cast has made do with face masks and vaccines. However, one original cast member departed the series abruptly due to the mandate.
Rockmond Dunbar did not want to get vaccinated and because of the mandate, he was let go from the show. His final episode aired on November 15 entitled “Defend In Place.” His character of Michael decided to go abroad for humanitarian work with his new fiance.
“I applied for religious and medical accommodations pursuant to the law and unfortunately was denied by my employer,” he told Deadline in a statement. “My sincerely held beliefs and private medical history are very intimate and personal aspects of my life that I do not publicly discuss and have no desire to start now. I’ve been an actor in this business for 30 years, but my greatest roles are as a husband and father to our 4 small children. As a man that walks in faith, I look forward to what the future holds.”
Dunbar added that there is no ill will toward the 9-1-1 cast or crew. He added that he has enjoyed working with the team for the last five seasons. He wishes “everyone nothing but the best.”