For those of you who aren’t aware of what an Upfront is: it’s basically a meeting of large television networks. These Upfronts are meant to be used as a market place, so to speak, for commercial airtime. Basically, its for Networks to show what their primetime schedules are, new series and tentative possible dates, as well as cancelations.
This year was the first in three years since Covid hit that the Upfronts were held in person.
And oh boy, that seems to have been a huge mistake. Especially since New York was hit with another variant of Covid recently. Executives, supporting crew for the Upfronts, as well as any acts that were there, ended up getting sick 10 days after the Upfronts were held.
Mask mandates were not enforced and businesses were beginning to lift Covid restrictions in New York.
Covid Was On People’s Mind During The 2022 Upfront Event
Seth Meyers half joked:
What a historic room to be able to tell people you got Covid in.
Every single large Network such as Disney, The CW, FOX, and Paramount also held parties. Of course some of these parties were small, others roughly medium sized, as well as large parties. Any of these parties that had food and drink were mostly mask free.
However, there were some that had mandatory proof of vaccination. Some of the party hosts did require masks like The CW. The only confirmed case for Covid was Jimmy Kimmel, however he only attended the event via the web. New York health officials were highly adamant that anyone attending large gatherings indoors wear masks.
With that said, Health Officials requested everyone to wear masks but it was never mandated at all.
Most of the Ad-Buyers did not even bother wearing masks for those few days. Although, some executives did go for regular tests daily (as per company guidelines).
However, it seemed to be a pretty general thought of “well if we get it, we get it” because they didn’t want to miss any potential opportunities to buy their slots and watch the performances. With how enormous this event is and continues to be – it was really only a matter of time before it ended up being a huge super spreader event.
Reporters and media buyers were also affected during the Upfronts.
Positive Covid tests didn’t show right away either. Most Covid tests wouldn’t have prevented a majority of presenters from joining the upfronts at all. Vaccination cards were required, however, being vaccinated doesn’t eliminate the risk of catching this very serious virus. Guests who showed up that were not affiliated with the event were not required to have Covid tests – which only increased the risk to the rest of the event attendees.
The reality of the pandemic is, that quite frankly, its not over and may not be for a long time. Its events such as these that keep the virus spreading. The only real hope of beating the virus is if the World Health Organization finally comes up with something to completely combat and kill the virus. The unfortunate thing about that is, no one knows if there is a chance of that happening, or if its possible. But, one thing we can do, is continue to take safety measures, continue to have hope and to be safe.
What do you think of ABC Universal holding the Upfronts in person? Do you think they should have kept the event virtual? Do you think New York should have enforced Covid mandates?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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