Sean Penn says Americans should be forced to have a COVID-19 vaccine amid reports he is refusing to return to the set of his TV show until cast and crew have had their shots.
“This is one of those things that should be mandatory,” the Hollywood star told Yahoo Entertainment.
“I think that vaccines need to be mandatory and that businesses — the movie business and all businesses — need to take the lead and not be so timid when dealing with their collective bargaining partners.”
The 60-year-old said only those who have medical conditions that prevent them from having the vaccine should be exempt.
Penn also compared the vaccine to driver’s licenses, saying “that it’s no different than having everybody being able to drive 100 miles an hour in a car.”
The actor hit out at those who are still hesitant about getting the shot, saying a lack of public information shouldn’t be an excuse anymore.
“There’s different kinds of hesitancies, and so I don’t think that there’s much excuse to not know the informational available anymore,” he said.
“A resistance that’s just based on a certain kind of… lack of imagination and understanding of anything that’s helpful to the human race, I’ve become very frustrated by that.
“But I can only work within my own bounds and say that, for me, it should be mandatory.”
It comes after Deadline reported that Penn was refusing to return to work on his show Gaslit — which also stars Julia Roberts — until everyone on set had been vaccinated.
Penn, who is fully vaccinated, flagged his concerns with NBCUniversal amid the surging Delta variant, sources told the outlet.
The actor has been pushing for people to be responsible throughout the pandemic and has set up free testing and vaccination sites throughout Los Angeles through his organization CORE.
He offered to provide free testing at Black Lives Matter protests last year and also ripped into vaccine site staffers who had complained about working long hours.