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Sean Penn says Covid-19 vaccine should be mandatory

Penn said last month that he would not return to the set of “Gaslit” until the entire cast and crew of the Starz political drama got inoculated.
Image: Sean Penn, founder of Community Organized Relief Effort at a CORE coronavirus testing site at Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles on Aug. 21, 2020.
Sean Penn, founder of Community Organized Relief Effort, at a CORE coronavirus testing site at Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles on Aug. 21, 2020.Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP file

Sean Penn says Covid-19 vaccinations should be mandatory, and is calling on the film industry to lead the way.

Penn said last month that he would not return to the set of “Gaslit” until the entire cast and crew of the Starz political drama got inoculated, Variety reported. He offered to help everyone get vaccinations through his nonprofit organization, Community Organized Relief Effort.

A representative confirmed to NBC News Thursday that he has not returned to set of "Gaslit," a limited series about the Watergate scandal.

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment earlier this week, Penn said mandatory vaccination is like implementing a speed limit. Not having a mandate is "no different than having everybody being able to drive 100 miles an hour in a car," he said.

"I do think that vaccines should be mandatory," Penn said, stipulating that people with medical conditions that might make it detrimental to get vaccinated be exempt. "And I do think ... that all businesses — the movie business — all businesses should take the lead."

He addressed people's "hesitancies" about getting the shot while promoting his latest directorial effort, "Flag Day," which opens in theaters Aug. 20.

"I don't think that there's much excuse to not know the information available anymore," Penn said. "The resistance is based on a certain kind of siloed lack of imagination and understanding of anything that's helpful to the human race."

Diana Dasrath contributed.