Warner Bros. Forces ‘The Penguin’ To Film Through Wildfires

in Entertainment, Movies & TV

new york city skyline: shot of the smoke from the california wildfires in new york, june 7, 2023

Credit: EarthCam

Warner Bros. has illustrated why the WGA strike is happening in the first place by sending their cast and crew to work in New York, despite the current weather conditions.

In case you were unaware of exactly what weather conditions those were: almost the entirety of the American Northeast, from Vermont down to Virginia, is currently blanketed in a thick layer of smoke due to the Canadian Wildfires that have been burning all week. Citizens have been advised to stay inside and exert as little effort as possible to protect their lungs from the dangerous smoke.

Previously, the WGA celebrated their pickets, forcing the shutdown of The Penguin’s production in Westchester, New York, just north of New York City. Despite Warner Bros. trying to force cast and crew to work through the strike, enough people refused to cross the picket line that the decision had to be made to shut down production “until further notice.”

Apparently, “until further notice” does not rule out putting your cast and crew’s health in danger.

Warner Bros. Takes Advantage of WGA Picketing Pause Due to Fire, Calls Crew To Work Amid Smoke

Last night, around 6 p.m., the WGA tweeted announcing that they would be shutting down picket activity in New York due to the danger posed by all the wildfire smoke in the air. They tweeted:

Due to the ongoing air quality concerns in the NYC area we are cancelling pickets for the remainder of the week (Thursday, June 8 & Friday, June 9). Stay safe and take care of yourselves!

Due to the ongoing air quality concerns in the NYC area we are cancelling pickets for the remainder of the week (Thursday, June 8 & Friday, June 9). Stay safe and take care of yourselves!#WGAStrike #WGAStrong #1u
Credit: Twitter

Related: WGA Strike Gets New Support From Legendary Rappers

However, only an hour after they tweeted this, a crew call was sent out to all those employed by Warner Bros.’s upcoming Batman spinoff series, The Penguin. The call specified that the crew was to be onsite at 7 a.m., according to New York-based script coordinator Ryan Kennedy.

It’s come to my attention that an arctic-bird themed WB crime show that had shut down til “further notice” due to the strike sent out a 7am crew call about an hour after @WGAEast made this announcement yesterday. No prelim, no concerns about the smoke, just bean counting rats. [penguin emoji]

It’s come to my attention that an arctic-bird themed WB crime show that had shut down til “further notice” due to the strike sent out a 7am crew call about an hour after @WGAEast made this announcement yesterday. No prelim, no concerns about the smoke, just bean counting rats.
Credit: Twitter

Related: Production on Season 2 of ‘The Last Of Us’ Shuts Down Amid WGA Strike

While Kennedy never directly specified which show he was talking about, the tweet made it abundantly clear that the Colin Farrell-led drama was driving the demand – a dangerous and cruel demand that, ironically, illustrates precisely why these strikes are necessary in the first place.

For context as to how hazardous working outdoors in the area of New York City is for your health at the moment, here is a map of the air quality captured last night at 10 p.m., only three hours after the crew call was allegedly sent out.

air quality map for east coast, new york city on june 7, 2023 at 10 pm
Credit: Apple Maps

Related: SAG-AFTRA Joins WGA, Overwhelmingly Approves Strike Authorization

The map shows that the air quality index in New York City reached 287 at one point last night. The air is categorized as “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” beginning at 101, “unhealthy” at 151, and “very unhealthy” at 201.

As of this morning, the AQI was back down, but it is still hovering around 175.

These are ridiculous and unsafe conditions for anybody to work – or even leave their home – in. Warner Bros. should be ashamed of this blatant disregard for human life, especially when it is making it so clear that they are on the wrong side of this fight.

This incident illustrates that the only thing standing in the way of Warner Bros. treating those in their employ this way all the time are the unions who demand that workers be treated fairly.

Phenomenally bad move, Warner Bros.

What do you think of the choice to make people work in these conditions? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments.

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