Early this morning, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reversed a decision to cancel all COVID-19 testing at Union Station to make room for a film shoot for the She's All That remake. Due to his choice, over 500 tests were going to be canceled.
Now that the site will remain open for testing, all the scheduled appointments have been restored.
“Working with LAFD, Curative & MetroLosAngeles, my team has worked to reopen testing at Union Station on Tuesday. The 504 Angelenos who were scheduled for a test there can visit the kiosk as originally planned or any of the other 14 City sites, where we offer 38K tests daily,” Garcetti said in a statement posted to Twitter.
The tweet continued, “Since March 20, the City has administered more than 2.5 million free tests. City sites offer free tests to anyone with or without symptoms and results are provided within 24-48 hours. More appointments are available for Angelenos needing a test: https://Coronavirus.LACity.org/Testing.”
Still, many people are wondering—what could have gone through his head when he approved this shoot?
Sure, we all want production to get back to normal, but not at the sacrifice of safety. And what film shoot was demanding to use one of these locations and couldn't rewrite or reshoot to go somewhere else?
Turns out it was a She's All That remake.
According to the Los Angeles Times, both Garcetti’s office and FilmLA said they were unaware that the filming would lead to the testing site being temporarily shut down—which I think makes more sense than just sheer negligence... but who wants to film next to or in conjunction with a COVID-19 testing site?
FilmLA told the LA Times, “All we know at this hour is that this decision wasn’t made by FilmLA or the City’s film permit approver LAPD, nor was it sought by the production company seeking to film at Union Station.”
Union Station is beautiful and has been featured in movies and TV shows from The Dark Knight Rises to Blade Runner to 24. But this still feels like something they could have reworked or reproduced elsewhere.
The real problem seems to be that none of these places know where testing sites are—so they are offering permits to people and displacing others without being in control of the consequences.
What a debacle!
On Monday night, a follow-up was sent to people whose appointments were canceled by Andrea Garcia, Garcetti’s press secretary.
Garcia wrote, “Earlier today we learned that our Union Station testing kiosk was unexpectedly closed in advance of tomorrow’s appointments. As soon as this was brought to our attention, we contacted the 504 people scheduled for a test on December 1st at Union Station to let them know that their appointment would be honored at any of the other 14 city testing locations, including another mobile testing site located at the North Hollywood Metro Station accessible by the Metro transit system. In addition, we are hoping to reopen the Union Station site’s operations tomorrow. We remain committed to providing free tests and are scheduled to test more than 38,000 people tomorrow. We have administered more than 2.5 million tests to Angelenos since March 20. Our network of testing centers and mobile testing pop up facilities reaches the entire City of Los Angeles, and we will continue to monitor new surge areas to make sure obtaining a test is as easy as possible.”
We shall see what happens next.
Seems like cities where cases are spiking should have a better idea where they can film without the disruption of a medical crisis.
Let us know what you think in the comments.