‘SNL’ gets to game lockdown rules while small biz gets hammered10/09/2020
In yet another sign of the “inequity” of New York’s lockdown, the producers of “Saturday Night Live” defied the spirit of the laws to get themselves a live audience last week.
This, even as (for example) the State Liquor Authority’s arbitrary and unpredictable enforcement has some bars and restaurants screaming that they’re slammed for violations far less serious that what’s going on, without SLA action, just a block or two away.
For its Season 48 premiere, “SNL” dodged the rules that say indoor audiences must be no more than 100 people or 25 percent of capacity, whichever is lower — by paying people $150 to watch the show live, and so technically qualifying them as “paid cast, crew or employees,” who are exempt from the rule.
“’SNL’ has confirmed that they followed the reopening guidance,” Health Department spokesman Jonah Bruno told The Post. Really?
Fine, the audience social-distanced and wore masks for the whole show. But it’s still an outrage when city restaurants only got to start indoor dining on Sept. 30, and at just 25 percent capacity.
Nearly 90 percent of bars, restaurants, clubs and event spaces in the five boroughs couldn’t pay their rents in August.
That the state let “SNL” create its own loophole in the COVID-19 rules is an insult to the many businesses on the brink of destruction.
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