If you’re a college football fan, there’s a good chance there will be at least one less familiar face on your TV screen in the coming weeks, and perhaps longer. Allison Williams, who has been covering sports for ESPN for the better part of a decade, has left her job behind because of a vaccination mandate.
The sportscaster took to Twitter yesterday to announce her decision. In her message, Allison Williams explained that she was choosing to not take the COVID-19 vaccine because Williams and her husband are trying to have a second child. She explained she had made the decision in consultation with her doctor as well as a fertility specialist. She ended saying that she looked forward to when she could “return to the games and job” that she loves. You can see her post below.
While Allison Williams’s message makes reference to fertility concerns as well as to her personal health, the CDC not only recommends people planning to become pregnant get vaccinated against COVID-19, but states there is no evidence to show the vaccine has any negative impact on fertility.
Per Reuters, at the end of July Disney — ESPN’s parent company — made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all of its employees in the United States, which prompted Allison Williams’ departure. There was some disagreement with the unions covering workers in Disney’s theme parks, but according to NPR those issues were ironed out before the end of August.
Things are definitely getting less friendly for unvaccinated people like Allison Williams. Back in June, for example, the investment banking company Morgan Stanley announced unvaccinated employees would be barred from its New York City offices.
Before even Disney announced its vaccine mandate — thereby ensuring Allison Williams’ break from ESPN — Deadline reported that Netflix became the first major Movie/TV studio to introduce vaccination mandates. According to Deadline, Netflix let its employees know that everyone in what it referred to as “Zone A” — meaning any actors and any employees coming into contact with actors — would need to be vaccinated or say goodbye.
While Allison Williams takes a break from sportscasting, she hopefully isn’t too big of a fan of live entertainment, because it isn’t just in the area of employment that things are getting more difficult for the unvaccinated to navigate. If Williams decides she wants to check out a Broadway show, for example, she’s going to be disappointed. You not only need a ticket to get a seat at one of the beloved shows, but proof of vaccination and a mask. The requirement will be in effect at least until October.
It might be at least a little bit tougher for Allison Williams to get a seat at a Patton Oswalt stand-up performance as well. A week ago, Oswalt announced he was requiring all audience members to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from within the last 72 or 48 hours, depending on the local regulations. The comic went so far as to cancel five dates from his tour because the venues refused to comply. It also happens to be a mandate you have to follow to get into any music festival, concert, or any other event hosted by Live Nation.