The star, whose healthcare company CORE aided California's coronavirus testing and vaccine rollout, isn't satisfied with "Gaslit" production bosses' assurances that everyone in the show's Zone A - reserved only for actors and those workers needing to be in contact with them - will be jabbed.
The state's COVID case numbers are soaring again, due to the rapid spread of the Delta virus variant, prompting Los Angeles County health leaders to reintroduce a mandate requiring compulsory mask wearing indoors at the weekend (July 18). And now Penn has Hollywood chiefs worried that other big names will echo his demands.
On Monday, July 19, company officials at NBCUniversal released a statement announcing that producers working with the American media giant have "the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis."
And on Wednesday, according to Deadline, they emailed everyone working on the film "Gaslit", informing them of a free vaccination clinic offering "several vaccine choices," with second doses to be administered 21 days later if necessary. The missive also asked production members to bring proof that they have been jabbed when they next report to work on the set.
But reports suggest the offer is unacceptable to activist and Oscar winner Penn, who plays disgraced former U.S. President Richard Nixon's Attorney General, John Mitchell in the upcoming series about the Watergate political scandal.
Sources told Deadline that staffers on the show, directed by Matt Ross, have worked hard to keep Sean and his fellow cast members safe, but noted that studio heads are uncertain whether they are able to legally enforce mandatory vaccinations.
Penn, who has yet to comment on the reports, also allegedly offered up the free services of his company staffers at CORE to help get everyone vaccinated.