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 Within 48 hours after the person’s appearance, you will need to submit a COVID-19-based negative PCR test. Tickets holders will also need to submit a rapid negative antigen test (rapid), on the day of their event.
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 is not vaccinated and will not 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. No offense intended. 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. It’s not something I will ever do. Your immunity is compromised, they are my opinion. 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. However, that’s not what I can do. All of you out there are part of my heritage and culture. I am sorry. 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
Outsider Magazine reports that fans supported the actor in support of 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! For doing the same, I was terminated from Humana in Oct 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. Hollywood can’t seem to make a decision.
A Hollywood celebrity actor is rarely seen threatening establishment rejection. Smith’s determination to uphold his bodily autonomy while not attacking others for their personal Covid-vaccine decisions is impressive.