A team of small theater and comedy club operators has filed a Lawsuit September 1 Against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, claiming that the different application of the vaccine mandate unfairly discriminates against their places and violates the constitutional protections provided by the First and 1st Amendments.
Representing the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Marmis Law Group, Theater Center, Players Theater, Actors Temple Theater, Soho Playhouse, and Broadway Comedy Club, De Blasio’s “Key to NYC” is challenging evidence of a ticker order in federal court.
Effective September 1, this order requires many in-house businesses to allow only employees and customers to enter who are able to provide proof of the Covid-1 vaccine. The order applies to indoor dining, entertainment, fitness and entertainment establishments. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to 5,000 for the business and possible criminal charges.
The lawsuit alleges that the unequal application of the “Key to NYC” mandate, equal to discrimination in terms of content and type of speaker, refers to exemptions granted for religious services and performance in community centers and schools.
Theater attorney Daniel Ortner 1 said in a statement on September 17, “A drama production produced by a community center or high school drama department is considered more favorable than the production of one of our clients.” “This violates the First Amendment.”
Religious services are regularly conducted in the same auditorium without restrictions within just a few hours of other performances under the order. In fact, the Actress Temple is doubled as a non-Jewish synagogue, and the Orbach Theater rents its facilities to a religious group for Sunday morning services.
Although theater and comedy performances are subject to the application of the Evidence of Vaccination under the “Key to NYC” mandate, participants in religious services are not required to be vaccinated and the commands of the mask are only loosely applied despite the congregational singing.
Referring to our nation’s “long history of parody and satirical protection” that portrayed an early cartoon of George Washington as an ass, the lawsuit seeks to defend the continued freedom of comedians and actors. The statement said, “Speakers seek permission to work on the same terms as in other similar venues, regardless of the content of the lecture or the identity of the speakers they host.” “The same rules apply to all speakers, regardless of their message.”
They also challenged the ban on logistical grounds. The long shutdown has stretched their budgets, and theaters are fighting to get those who bought tickets back before they took effect.
The lawsuit further claims that the order unjustly “stigmatizes businesses that are already fighting for a return.” Very few cases of COVID-19 have been detected in theaters. Meanwhile, other countries, such as South Korea, opened theaters before other businesses because they were considered safer than most types of gatherings.
The plaintiff has a capacity of less than 1,190 seats in all the auditoriums and has already issued stern warnings, including barring the front row, requiring performers to be vaccinated, forcing the audience to wear masks during performances, hiring additional staff to adhere to masks and encouraging vaccinations. For.
Theaters have reported that their staff has also faced significant abuse from patrons out of frustration with the vaccine application, claiming, “Several staff members left after screaming, being physically threatened, and even being harassed by customers. [the mandate]. “
Theaters are requesting a waiver of $ 1 plus attorney fees, which they consider arbitrary restrictions on the freedom of comedy and art practice. Al Martin, owner of the Broadway Comedy Club, Keep it Simply put: “We’re not the TSA of the vaccine card, we’re a comedy club.”