The Cine and Television Actors’ Association (CINTAA) is worried about the number of member artistes succumbing to death owing to Covid while shooting outside Maharashtra.
The association has demanded all health and safety protocols be strictly followed on set, and a copy of their Standard Operative Procedures (SOP) be shared by their members in order to examine any negligence that could have a severe impact on a unit.
SOPs have to be designed keeping in mind the new strain of the virus, which might show negative in the first RT-PCR and would mean isolating the cast and crew before and after the shoot.
The association is also worried about the fact that since actors travel regularly, they face a greater risk of infection.
“It is wonderful that TV shoots are shooting in a bubble, with necessary precautions, but we are worried that a secure bio bubble of the IPL has been breached, it will not take long for this disaster to strike TV shoots. There is a traffic of actors travelling to and from shoots, using flights and airports and the danger of infection is tenfold,” stated a CINTAA spokesperson, urging producers to follow the 30-day model of payment till the pandemic is on.
“With medical costs skyrocketing, it is only prudent that expenses are completely covered, with no burden to our members,” the spokesperson added.
Actors, who have refused to shoot due to the pandemic are being replaced overnight and CINTAA has insisted that they should be compensated. Also, it has questioned who would take ownership if an actor gets infected.
“Most of the producers are saying that cine workers are frontline workers, we would like to point out that if any category that actually comes in the shape of frontline workers are the actors, who have to perform their scenes without masks. Who have to come in close contact with the make-up artists, stylists and so on. So, they are most prone and susceptible to COVID infections,” said the spokesperson.
“Hence, we are appealing to all the stake holders that we want to know on whom does the moral responsibility lie? If the actor contracts Covid, who is going to take care of the entire hospital/medical expenses, the insurance, injury cover, death cover, etc. Is the broadcaster taking the onus, studio taking the onus, or the producer association or individual producer is taking the onus, that is what we wish to know,” questioned CINTAA.
They have also stressed the plight of the artistes who have one or two days of work in a show. CINTAA has expressed that there is a need to make sure that they are shooting in the vicinity of medical emergencies or have made arrangements on the set.
“The plight of actors who have one or two days of work is worse than film workers, as these actors have nowhere been included in the various charities being offered like Salman Khan’s charity or Yash Raj vaccination drive, in spite this fraternity being at maximum risk at all levels, including their unsure livelihood. We are glad that the workers are being taken care of by the benevolent. But these actors should be included in such initiative beneficiary list,” added the spokesperson.