LOS ANGELES—For Lindsey Clough, June 15 was a memorable date. The wardrobe stylist celebrated her 38th birthday on the same day filming finally resumed after the COVID-19 pandemic had shut down production.
The Eagle Rock mother of two had spent nearly 100 days at home with her family, without even a visit to a grocery store. Then she was back on a South Los Angeles set filming a commercial for a big brand.
She expected to see mask wearing, social distancing, widespread sanitizing and other safety protocols. But she was alarmed by what she saw.
“I started to notice that some things just weren’t happening,” said Clough, who has worked on commercials for McDonald’s, BMW and other big brands.
The van used to transport crew to and from set wasn’t sanitized between uses. Windows were sometimes closed and crew members occasionally took off their masks to eat in the van, she said, contrary to guidelines developed for commercials producers. She raised her worries with the person in charge of compliance with COVID-19 safety, but says her concerns were ignored. She decided to drive her own car on set.
“They might have thought I was overreacting, but I have the right to a safe workspace and to get the things that I was promised,” Clough said.
As Hollywood returns to production, crew members have voiced concerns that some commercial shoots are cutting corners on safety measures intended to protect workers from outbreaks of the virus.