A beloved cast member of the Paramount series "Yellowstone" is proving personal integrity is still possible in Hollywood.
On Wednesday, February 15, Forrie J. Smith, who plays senior ranch hand Lloyd Pierce on "Yellowstone," took to Instagram to announce he will not attend the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards due to the ceremony's vaccine mandate.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) requires "all attendees be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine plus a booster, if eligible. You will also need to submit a negative lab-based COVID-19 PCR TEST within 48-hours of the individual's first appearance on-site. Additionally, completion of a negative antigen (rapid) test the day of the event will be required for ticketed attendees."
SAG acknowledged the top-rated series for the first time this year with a nomination for best ensemble cast in a television drama. Sadly, Smith cannot attend. He's not vaccinated and won't get a Covid vaccination just to walk on the red carpet.
I want to apologize to y’all for not being at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. I mean no offense to anyone. I’m not vaccinated, and it’s a requirement to be vaccinated to be at the Screen Actors Guild awards ceremony...have to be vaccinated with a booster shot and a negative Covid test within 48 hours. Gotta wear a K95 62 43 50 whatever kind of mask and, uh, I’m not vaccinated, I will not get vaccinated. I haven’t been vaccinated since I was a little kid. I don’t vaccinate my dogs, I don’t vaccinate my horses. I’ve never had a flu shot. I never will. I believe they compromise your immunities. I'm sorry.
The actor added that he "was looking forward to walking the red carpet in my big black American hat and my Justin Boots and representing my culture and heritage. But I'm not going to be able to do that. I apologize to all y'all out there who are a part of my culture and heritage." The lifelong cowboy was born and raised on a ranch.
The video was no longer available on his Instagram page by Wednesday night, but many fans saved it on social media.
I’m even a bigger fan of Yellowstone now! pic.twitter.com/mcuNlwVe3X— Jolly Roga (@RogaJolly) February 16, 2022
According to Outsider Magazine, fans posted support for the actor under the Instagram announcement.
Comments included, “A man should be able to mind his own, in my opinion. God bless brother,” and “Thank you for your authenticity and holding firm in your beliefs! I was fired from Humana in October for the same! Still wouldn’t change it!”
Smith made clear that he isn't telling others what to do, but he just wants to be free to make his own medical decisions.
Ironically, the actor would have been able to walk down the red carpet if his role were in a movie this year. The 2022 Oscar ceremony will have no vaccination requirements. Apparently, Hollywood cannot make up its mind.
It's rare to see a popular Hollywood actor risk establishment rejection. Smith's determination to uphold his bodily autonomy while not attacking others for their personal Covid-vaccine decisions is impressive.