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The 50-year-old producer sent the document, appropriately titled “Camp Quarantine,” to his staff on Wednesday along with a letter outlining his decision to start production at his sprawling Tyler Perry Studios campus in Atlanta, Ga.
“I couldn’t start this letter without first saying that our hearts, souls and minds stand with all those who have lost loved ones during this challenging time in our world. I’d also like you know that we stand firmly with our frontline workers. They are the true superstars in all of this,” Perry began his letter to staff (via The Hollywood Reporter).
The letter touched upon the disproportionate ways in which COVID-19 affects the African-American community as well as crew member Charles Gregory Ross, who recently died of the coronavirus after 15 years of working with Perry on various projects.
“It is with that sobering reality and the understanding that African Americans are disproportionately affected by this virus in vast numbers, and also knowing that my cast and crew members are largely African American — that we came up with this plan to return to work safely,” Perry wrote. “I want it to be abundantly clear that there was no way I could or would consider putting people back to work without a plan that takes extreme measures to try and mitigate as much risk as possible in our productions, and I think we’ve managed to do just that.”
Perry explained that he worked with various union reps and medical experts to devise a plan that will see cast and crew for his shows “Sistas” and “The Oval” to return to work on campus, where they’ll remain under strict social distancing, sanitization and testing guidelines for the entire time they’re filming.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that staff will first be tested for COVID-19 at their respective homes 16 days before travel will take place. They’ll be forced to self-isolate during that time. They will then take a private flight organized by Perry to Atlanta where they’ll be tested again before heading to the campus. Once there, they’ll be tested once again to ensure they didn’t contract the virus while in transit.
While they await the results from the last test, they’ll be sequestered in their individual rooms. Once all people who test positive are given medical treatment and safely ushered off the campus, people will be allowed to leave their private rooms, but not the campus, where social distancing and mask guidelines will be in effect.
Perry says that the only exception to these guidelines will be actors in scenes together and for occasional makeup and hair needs.