Fox broadcast network cancels plans for Times Square New Year’s Eve broadcast amid omicron concerns
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
Fox’s broadcast network has decided not to move forward with the full version of its New Year’s Eve special amid concerns over the coronavirus and omicron variant, even as its sister cable network continues to rail against COVID-19 vaccines and spread misleading information about the virus.
“While we are confident in the health and safety protocols for ‘Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022,’ the recent velocity of the spread of Omicron cases has made it impossible to produce a live special in Times Square that meets our standards,” Fox Entertainment said in a statement.
“We will not be moving forward with ‘Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022’ in New York. The health and safety of our casts and crews has always been, and will continue to be, of the utmost importance,” the statement continued.
The network said it is working on finding replacement programming for the special, with insiders telling Variety that the network may be considering a studio based production with hosts Joe McHale and Ken Jeong, who were slated to host the Times Square production.
Meanwhile, the network’s sister cable commentary channel appears to still be moving forward with its “All America New Year’s Eve” that will originate from Nashville and across the country.
The cable channel has been criticized for frequently featuring guests that tout COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories, unproven treatments and other misinformation, including a recent medical contributor who suggested that the omicron varient should just be allowed to “circulate,” citing its apparent milder symptoms (which hasn’t been fully confirmed), despite the fact this could cripple the American health care system and potentially spur new variants.
Hosts on the channel frequently decry vaccine mandates or “passport” requirements from government or corporate entities, even though its own network requires employees to be vaccinated or test, which is technically a definition of a mandate and passport.
The network has taken some steps to encourage viewers to get vaccinated, including running PSAs featuring some of its biggest names. Some of its hosts have publicly acknowledged being vaccinated, but many of them continue to decry any requirements to do so.
Coronavirus vaccines and boosters are highly recommended by multiple public health officials and experts. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters have undergone extensive testing and monitoring to ensure their safety. Scientific research has shown the vaccines and boosters to be very safe and highly effective in decreasing the likelihood of contracting the illness and, if one does become sick, symptoms are less severe and less likely to lead to hospitalization or death. For more information about COVID-19 and coronavirus, visit the CDC website. You can locate a free vaccination site or clinic near you at Vaccines.gov. As with any medical decision, you should always discuss your options with your doctor.