Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt canceled his upcoming tour dates in Florida and Salt Lake City because the venues would not comply with his request that attendees either show proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.
Oswalt told fans in an Instagram video that he made the requests to protect people coming to his "Patton Oswalt Live: Who's Ready To Laugh?" tour.
"The good news is we're keeping everyone who comes to these shows safe and healthy because the numbers are going up," he said last Wednesday. "Now the bad news, of course, is there are five venues on the tour that are not complying with this."
Oswalt said the cancelations affect four December dates in Florida and one in Salt Lake City that was scheduled for 2022.
In the video's caption, "The King of Queens" actor said he was looking forward to visiting Florida so he could take a picture beside the plaque of Travis McGee, a fictional character from author John D. MacDonald’s mysteries who lived aboard his houseboat at Fort Lauderdale's marina.
He went on to say that Salt Lake City is "eerily beautiful" and has an "otherworldly glow."
"This difficult decision was made due to the rising numbers of Covid cases and also because I have an ego, but my ego is not big enough to think that people should die to hear my stupid comedy," Oswalt said in the video about the cancellations. "So hopefully, hopefully, in the future we can rebook those when sanity holds sway again. But this sucks, I was really looking forward to Florida, to Salt Lake City."
Florida is among a handful of states that have prohibited the use of so-called vaccine passports, or documentation of Covid-19 vaccinations. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said in an executive order that such records are private information, "which should not be shared by mandate," and that "vaccine passports reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy."
According to Deseret News, Oswalt's Salt Lake City show was going to be held at Kingsbury Hall, which is a part of the University of Utah. Brooke Horejsi, executive director of Kingsbury Hall’s UtahPresents concert series, told the newspaper that because the school is adhering to state law, the venue has to do the same.
“The university has a vaccination requirement for students and health care university employees, but cannot extend that to patrons at campus venues for experiences presented by the University of Utah,” Horejsi said.
“However, outside rentals (like Live Nation) may make their own safety protocols. Unfortunately, Oswalt’s team had already made the decision to cancel the January show prior to this clarification, but we’re looking forward to rescheduling with him in the future — especially after hearing how much he loves Utah’s iconic scenery," Horejsi continued.