The BAFTAs Might Have Been A COVID-19 Super-Spreader Event

March 21, 2022 / Posted by:

Rebel Wilson hosted the 2022 British Academy Film Awards ceremony, aka the BAFTAs, last Sunday, and in hindsight, maybe she should have done the whole gig in an extra snug-fitting N95 mask. Because according to sources, many people tested positive for COVID in the days after the BAFTAs were held. Someone might not have gone home with an award, but there’s a very good chance they went home with a runny nose, fever, cough, or persistent body aches. And the only reason we really know any of this at all is that the Producers Guild of America Awards were held six days later, and the attendance was suspiciously low.

This rumor comes from several entertainment journalists and anonymous sources. The BAFTAs, which is essentially Oscar’s British cousin, happened on March 13, and it’s the biggest night in British film. The PGAs were held on March 19 in Los Angeles, and according to some sources, plenty of PGA-nominated directors and producers skipped the ceremony because of some alleged COVID cases.

The Hollywood Reporter did a little digging, and they too want to know if the BAFTAs were responsible for a sudden surge in showbiz-based COVID infections. One source mentioned that the missing persons at the PGAs might have been because they were all at home, coughing and sneezing their asses off. But it also might have been because nobody wants to get sick during Oscars week. So those missing PGA attendees might have been simply showing “an abundance of caution” leading up to March 27th. But, another source who spoke with THR, and who did test positive after attending the BAFTAs, said that it feels like the BAFTAs was indeed a super-spreader event. At the very least, the cast and crew of Belfast aren’t having the best week. via THR:

One of those who tested positive after attending the BAFTA ceremony was Belfast director-producer Kenneth Branagh, who was among the 10 speakers on the PGA’s annual breakfast panel. No explanation was given as to why Branagh participated virtually – he certainly looked fine – but later that evening, THR confirmed that the filmmaker had tested positive in recent days. Branagh wasn’t the only one on the BAFTA Belfast team who contracted the virus. Co-star Ciarán Hinds also tested positive, as did a handful or more of other people associated with the film.

But if this one source who spoke to THR is to be believed, then the Oscars’ red carpet might be pretty quiet on Sunday.

“Literally everyone I’m speaking to at the moment says they have it,” says one.

It might be a bit early to be accusing Miss BAFTA of pulling a Typhoid Mary. There were many social and networking events surrounding the BAFTAs that could have contributed to a possible contagion, like a BAFTAs nominees party the day before, an AMPAS party that was thrown a few hours before the BAFTAs were held, and a dinner hosted by Chanel after the ceremony. Or any of the other parties that happened, apparently:

“One person I know who got it had been to seven different parties,” said one publicist, who has also contracted COVID-19.

The BAFTAs didn’t require masks, but attendees did need to show proof of a negative rapid antigen test as they exited their limos and arrived at the show. The PGAs required that, but also proof of vaccination. And the Oscars, well – they’re not requiring anything but glamour! Although something tells me that if the BAFTAs were any indication, a whole lot of people are about to stroll down the red carpet in full hazmat suits by Valentino and Dior, and many acceptance speeches will start with, “I’d like to thank my immune system, for being my greatest support this week!

Pic: YouTube

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