The Broadway Masking Double Standard: No Mask Mandate for Celebrities at Tony Awards

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Alesha Dixon, DJ Fat Tony, Henrietta Tiefenthaler aka DJ Henri, Miquita Oliver, Max Dundas, Meshach Henry, Nick Grimshaw and Ivana Giachino attend a cocktail reception ahead of The Fashion Awards 2021 at Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by David …
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Celebrities won’t have to wear masks when they attend the 75th annual Tony Awards in New York on Sunday, even as paying audiences at Broadway shows are still being forced to mask up through at least the end of June.

Tony organizers said celebrity attendees will not be required to wear masks during the ceremony at Radio City Music Hall, but will need to be tested for COVID-19 before attending, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The rule applies to all those seated in the orchestra section. Attendees seated in the mezzanine and balcony sections of Radio City Music Hall — which will be mostly out of camera range during the CBS broadcast — will be required to wear masks throughout the ceremony but will not need to be tested.

The announcement stands in stark contrast to the Broadway League’s continued mask mandate for audiences of all Broadway shows — a rule that has been in place since theaters re-opened last year. Some shows are also still requiring negative COVID tests in addition to masks.

Watch below:

Audience masking protocols for July and beyond will be announced later this month.

This year’s Tony Awards will be hosted by recent Oscar-winning West Side Story actress Ariana DeBose. Among the celebrity nominees expected to attend are Hugh Jackman, Patti LuPone, Ruth Negga, Sam Rockwell, Billy Crystal, Sutton Foster, Phylicia Rashad, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Watch below:

Earlier this Broadway season, Patti LuPone was caught on camera berating an audience member of the musical Company, demanding the patron to “put your mask over your nose,” adding, “if you don’t want to follow the rule, get the fuck out!”

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