The behind the scenes staff at Golf Channel has accused the network of contributing to “multiple infections” amongst its broadcast crews. The International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees alleges there is no regular Covid-19 testing done for employees and contractors.
Players and caddies on the PGA and LPGA tours receive rapid Covid-19 tests ahead of events. Golf Channel does not offer their broadcast crews the same considerations.
“The union said the lack of testing has led to multiple infections among broadcast crews whose work requires substantial travel between locations and whose craft does not always allow for social distancing,” Variety’s Dave McNary writes.
A network rep pushed back on the accusations, telling McNary “Golf Channel’s tournament productions are following all recommended guidelines to keep employees safe with protocols in concert with partner-specific and local governance rules at each event’s location.”
IATSE leadership says that Golf Channel is the outlier in terms of employee safety. Union leaders say that other networks that have covered golf events have taken the health concerns of the below-the-line workers seriously and have offered regular testing during events.