From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March to month ten of the world dealing with COVID-19, Netflix has consistently kept the television and film content coming. But as the pandemic continues, the streaming platform’s rigorous output won’t be able to continue as per usual because a surge in COVID-19 cases is bringing the all of that to a halt.
Despite several state and local lockdowns aimed at decreasing the spread of the coronavirus, the pandemic is still raging on across the country and around the world. In Los Angeles specifically, where many of Netflix’s original projects are being filmed, the number of COVID-19 cases have increased to a point so alarming that the Mayor Eric Garcetti mandated the current city-wide lockdown to continue indefinitely. Although TV/film production was initially exempted from the restrictions and allowed to continue throughout the lockdown, city officials are now pushing for productions to pause filming as COVID numbers hit records highs.
Deadline reports that Netflix has decided temporarily halt all of its L.A.-based productions in compliance with the city’s lockdown. Many projects were set to gather cast and crew in different locations starting this month — the final season of Dear White People was just about to get started, as was Netflix’s high budget Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling blockbuster The Gray Man — but the brief pause will push them back to late January at the earliest. Refinery29 has reached out to Netflix for comment.
This is the second time that Hollywood has essentially shut down mid-pandemic; various studios shuttered their productions for two weeks in March 2020 right as the much of the world was also mandating temporary lockdowns. They were necessary at the time, but beyond just delaying the shows and films, the set shutdowns were understandably difficult for cast and crew members who had to go without pay during the break.
Given the current trajectory of the pandemic with no official solution to the coronavirus in sight, it's likely that this won't be the last industry shut down that Hollywood faces. Rest assured, though, that Netflix has more than enough projects to hold subscribers down in the meantime.