Sean Penn will not return to the set of the Starz limited series Gaslit until the entire cast and crew has been vaccinated. According to Deadline, the actor has insisted that vaccines become mandatory for everyone on set. This decision comes as numbers of Covid-19 cases tick back up due to the Delta variant — so much so that Los Angeles County has reinstated its indoor mask policy.

In addition to his request, Penn has also offered to facilitate the vaccination effort through his non-profit organization CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort). This week, NBCUniversal rolled out the first mandate to “Zone A,” which includes cast members and those who work in close proximity to them. This is because actors must be unmasked while shooting their scenes. Crew members in Zone A must bring proof of vaccination to their next shift on set. But Penn is adamant that everyone, not just those who fall under Zone A, should be protected against the virus.

Gaslit creators Robbie Pickering and Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail have reportedly been sympathetic to Penn’s wish and have done what they can to adhere to safety protocols on set. However, Deadline’s sources have also stated that Universal may not have the legal power to impose mandatory vaccinations on the crew without negotiating with the unions and the other studios.

So until that happens, Penn will not return to the set of the political thriller series. If this continues for long enough, production in Burbank could be delayed until further notice.

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