Despite the pandemic leading to production closures and making live experiences all but a thing of the past, lawsuits brought over working conditions in the time of the coronavirus have not been as widespread as one might think.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, though, that all changed on Jan. 15 when Timothy Hearl brought litigation against his employers over working conditions on Netflix’s live attraction “Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience.” Debuting in October, the attraction allows guests to move from station to station in a parking lot while actors recreate scenes from the popular Netflix Original’s third season. The streaming giant co-produces the show alongside Secret Cinema and Empyrean Production Services.
According to his lawsuit, Hearl spoke up when he became concerned that rehearsals that were held indoors were posing an exposure risk to the cast. When he was unsatisfied with the response from his bosses, he reportedly filed a complaint with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Soon after the group conducted an investigation of the set, Hearl was terminated.
Now, he’s claiming that he was wrongfully fired in violation of California’s Whistleblower Retaliation statutes.
Representatives for Netflix, Secret Cinema nor Empyrean Production Services immediately responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
However, a rep for Empyrean told The Hollywood Reporter: “The safety of fans and our team members has remained the highest priority since the inception of the Stranger Things Drive Into Experience. There are robust measures in place to protect the health and well-being of everyone on site, and we’re proud that these protocols have resulted in an excellent safety record.”
Hearl reportedly alleges that he and other cast members were experiencing breathing issues and illness that he believes was due to exposure to carbon monoxide.