Tilda Swinton: ‘I was told to wear a mask at all times, and I’m not.’

On film and television productions around the world, “Covid protocols” became a thing for above-the-line and below-the-line workers. Meaning, there was mandatory Covid testing (usually nasal swabs), there was enforced masking and those Plexiglas helmets to mask actors’ whole faces. Some studios even mandated vaccines, which I thought was smart. This was the new reality for everyone throughout 2020, 2021 and 2022. Now that we’re entering the fourth year of pandemic living, should those mask-wearing and testing protocols exist? According to Tilda Swinton, no. Tilda went to South by Southwest to promote her latest movie and she spoke out against… masking??

Tilda Swinton is over the pandemic, and she doesn’t care who knows it. She opened her keynote appearance at South by Southwest by sharing her pleasure that the pandemic had gotten to a point where audience members at the event didn’t have to wear masks anymore. Later in the conversation, Swinton said, “I’m about to shoot a picture in Ireland, and I was told to wear a mask at all times, and I’m not.”

“I’m sure this is being recorded,” she noted, before saying that she is “very healthy” after having gone through COVID-19 infections multiple times.

Interestingly, in 2022, Swinton spoke to W Magazine about the severity of one of her infections and the long COVID symptoms she was continuing to endure, including struggles with memory.

[From Variety]

Hilariously, during this same appearance, Swinton hit out on the arrogance and attitude of self-centeredness she sees within the film industry and the importance of “staying collective.” What says “for the good of the collective” more than one actress refusing to adhere to public health regulations. “Salus populi suprema lex esto” = the health of the people is the supreme law. While I realize that most countries have loosened (if not completely removed) their masking, testing and quarantining regulations, that’s not for Swinton to unilaterally decide she’s not going to do it. When in Dublin, follow Irish rules and laws. She sounds so arrogant here.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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65 Responses to “Tilda Swinton: ‘I was told to wear a mask at all times, and I’m not.’”

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  1. Blujfly says:

    The intention of masking in to film is to take a temporary step to prevent a COVID wave from sweeping the production and costing everyone involved time, money, health issues. She’s a fool.

    • agirlandherdogs says:

      They should just go ahead and replace her now. I would hope their masking policies are in the contract, so if she refuses to comply with the terms of the contract, just find someone else. They haven’t started shooting yet. They may have to delay shooting to find a replacement, but they’ll have to delay shooting if she gets everyone sick, too. It’s just straight up entitlement. “I won’t wear a mask. What are they going to do? Replace me?” So yes, replace her.

    • DouchesOfCornwall says:

      Well I hope the coworkers are going to retaliate with a protest of her filming with them without properly protecting them. Just wear your mask when you’re required to in respect to everybody else and regulations in place. Celebrities acting like they’re all that is soooo annoying. Selfish and pretentious. You’re not the center of the universe Tilda.

  2. Emmi says:

    How to be a shitty coworker 101. Great.

  3. vee says:

    egh i cant with her anymore

    • kirk says:

      I can’t either. I used to think she was so awesome. Thanks to Celebitchy her star has slipped enough levels in the firmanent that I don’t feel the need to see her stuff anymore.

      Sooo glad to hear she’s so healthy she’s managed to live through multiple COVID infections peachy keen. Wait, what’s that she was saying to W magazine about her long COVID symptoms like something something memory blah blah collective….🙄

  4. Bibliomommy96 says:

    Ugh, I’m over her.

  5. Mel says:

    She gets to do what she wants and she gets to leave other people alone if they want to wear their mask. I wear my mask on public transportation and in crowded indoor events because folks are gross, inconsiderate and there are soooooo many nasty viruses flying around out there right now, I’d like to avoid them if at all possible. You do you, and when you get sick do NOT complain.

    • WTF says:

      She is likely to be the biggest star on the movie set. Her co-workers won’t get to just ‘do you’. They will have to work with her without a mask, or forego their paycheck. Not to mention that these are the rules in Dublin right now. So people can ignore local rules and ordinances at their pleasure? Never mind the health reasons, even if you just look at the audacity. She literally talked about people being too selfish and not concerned with the collective, which is the opposite of ‘do you’. The. Audacity. Period.

      • Indra says:

        While I think she’s selfish about the masks, I am actually living in Ireland right now and visit Dublin weekly. We don’t need to wear the masks anymore and since long time ago. So I am not sure what she’s talking about.

      • Christine says:

        And this is why Covid is still a thing.

    • Josephine says:

      Ditto on public transportation. Recently I’ve heard from 5 or 6 people who think they got covid from a plane trip. Last we flew we were one of two families who masked up. If I’m going on vacation or a business trip, I do not want to be sick with anything so I mask up. You are absolutely right that people who know they have covid will have no problem stepping into a crowded space – heck, 1/2 of them probably want other people to get covid since they have it.

  6. Carrot says:

    Tilda S goes on the Thanks-you-saved-me-a-stamp list

  7. Amy Bee says:

    Are we really surprised by this?

    • Danbury says:

      Not even a little bit. She’s always struck me as an entitled b**ch. It is now confirmed.

  8. C says:

    She is a great artist but she has always been an entitled snob. Her exchange with Margaret Cho was so cringey. She supports Polanski too.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Thank you! I hope people never forget the horrid Polanski supporters who are still out there in the spotlight.

  9. QuiteContrary says:

    This infuriates me. What a load of bollocks and privilege. How brave of you, Tilda, to stand against Covid protocols — while the lesser-paid people working on your film’s production have to deal with the consequences of your selfish conduct. Hopefully none of them have immune system issues.

    She admits to having memory problems because of long Covid (seems unhelpful for an actor)… and still refuses to mask up. Apparently long Covid also has robbed her of any common sense and decency.

  10. LaurenAPMT says:

    I’m sorry, but what a selfish dick. Maybe SHE comes out of Covid infections not feeling too bad, but I don’t have that luxury. I am severely immunocompromised, and the one time I’ve had Covid so far, I barely avoided a hospital stay.
    It’s not all about you, it’s about the people around you that you’re infecting and exposing to illness, especially in a closed-off space like a film set.

  11. Abby says:

    Unless you have an actual medical (or psychological) reason, I have no patience for people who think wearing a mask takes away their freedom. It’s a piece of fabric. Designed to help us keep each other safer. I spent 2.5 years wearing a mask everywhere I was required to, and many other times where I felt like it would offer protection. I have no problem with mask requirements. I fought for mask mandates at my kids school during the height of covid (we were outnumbered by school board members with political aspirations, and sent our kids in masks anyway). It’s such an arrogant thing to flout not wearing a mask.

    I don’t understand her talking about this NOW either. It’s such a bad look.

    The more I think about this the madder it is making me. Is she just leaning into being a cartoon villain?

    • SunnyDays says:

      I had to labor and give birth in a mask. Anyone who complains about masking gets ZERO sympathy from me!!!

    • salmonpuff says:

      I’m currently wearing a mask in my home because I’ve been exposed, have mild symptoms (but keep testing negative) and don’t want my daughter to get it. Like, what is the big deal??? Who wants to be the a-hole who gives it to everyone at work?

  12. girl_ninja says:

    This is the same person who tried to get “permission” from Margaret Cho to play the Ancient One in Doctor Strange. Her racist ass as well as Marvel knew that she should NEVER have played that role. When Margaret talked openly about it she demanded an apology. She sucks, like so many white women are so f*cking entitled and here she is again showing her ass about Covid. What a f*cking jerk.

    • sparrow says:

      Please don’t bring her “I’m Tilda” attitude into slagging off white women in general. She is of a type here in the UK (of all races), I don’t know about elsewhere, who are bohemian hippy, self-serving twats. They are generally liberal/left leaning but, scratch away the surface, and they are the greediest people around. They pride themselves on being unusual and eccentric but it doesn’t hide their basic personalities. I’ve worked with a few of them before, and they chase the money more than any right wing colleagues I’ve ever known. I’ve never liked her. I’ve never understood the love for her on here. I’ve usually kept my mouth shut about her. She is on some kind of pedestal because she wears out-there clothes but her personality shines through for me. I am not at all surprised she thinks she is above harming the health of others. She probably thinks her germs are one level higher than everyone else’s.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      There are so many actors who are good actors, but sh!tty people. That would be ok, except they (I’m guessing) use their acting skills to try to appear that they are not sh!tty people, and many people fall for it. Swinton is one of them (Polanski supporter). There’s also Kate Winslet (Polanski supporter), Paul Bettany (Amber Heard abuser), Kate Blanchett (Polanski supporter), Harrison Ford (Polanski Supporter), Natalie Portman (Polanksi supporter), and many others who have fallen out of public favor NOW, but were previously given a pass. It’s really weird that we judge celebrities by how nicely they speak, or how good they look on the red carpet, but not on their actual views.

      • sparrow says:

        I absolutely agree. Kim Cattrall is a Polanski supporter. I can’t watch anything with her in it. The scales fall from your eyes with these people. Cate Blanchett drives me mad, always has. She is another one who thinks her opinions have wow levels of gravity.

  13. HeyKay says:

    So proud of herself that she is putting others health at risk.
    No more posts about Tilda Swinton for me.

    • sparrow says:

      I can’t stand TS, and the fuss about her has always baffled me. People like her believe they are eccentric to the point of being a total one off, and therefore the normal rules of civil behaviour don’t apply. As with all people who believe they are unique, they are at heart the most basic types you’ll run into; totally interested only in themselves and thinking others share the same level of fascination in their lives and views as they do. She is a bore. And a selfish one at that. The left wing press over here loves her, as do fashion editors. Neon hair and trouser suits don’t distract from a crappy attitude. I can’t believe how many people are taken in by her.

  14. Peanut Butter says:

    I considered her so talented and unique, but when she signed that petition expressing support and friendship for horrific child-abuser Polanski, that was a hard no for me. Her later attempted rationale did her no favors. When she said she identified as queer, just not sexually, I rolled my eyes hard, as did my gay adult child. Now, with her mask comments, I no longer think of her as being somewhat up her own privileged a**, but fully lodged there.

    • Jennifer says:

      “queer but not sexually” = HUH?!?!

    • sparrow says:

      Really good point about Polanski. There are other actors, mainly women, who go out of their way to publicly support him. It’s a real shock, because you realise they were people you liked before. I’ve not looked at them in the same way again, and have turned off the TV if they come on. I don’t support any film they are in. In this regard I am proud of Adele Haenel who walked out of the Cesar awards in 2020, crying “shame”, when Polanski was nominated.

    • MsGnomer says:

      “Queer but not sexually” means there is a likelihood that Tilda identifies as non binary or transgender. I get her rudeness about COVID protocols, but I interpreted her “queer” comment this way.

  15. Blithe says:

    An English actor, babbling on about how she refuses to obey Irish laws and protocols? I wonder who — besides herself — she’s trying to impress? Also, that last bit has me shaking my head. She’s “very healthy” — after multiple COVID infections. I could see trying to make this argument after having COVID once, and arguing that the infection itself is protective. After the second infection, it’s just bizarre. Yet another arrogant person who doesn’t care who she might injure — or worse.

    As an aside, what’s up with the faux-hawk? Is that for a role — or is that just her?

    • sparrow says:

      You’re so on the money! She reminds me of a woman who wanted me to see her alternative health therapist because “she has changed my life over the past two years”…despite having covid twice during that period. I find myself thinking, do these people actually hear their nonsense words? Wear a mask if required. Why is it such an offence to a person to act in everyone’s interest?

    • Khadijah.R says:

      She’s Scottish.

      • Blithe says:

        Thanks for the correction. I went with the Google-supplied: “born in London”…educated in England. I could have skimmed a little deeper.

    • Seán says:

      In fairness, masking is no longer enforced in Ireland. All COVID protocols have been dropped and fallen by the wayside. The production company themselves must want this mask mandate which is fair enough, COVID is still out there.

  16. ME says:

    She seems like a lot of people out there right now. They all believe the pandemic is over. I get weird looks because I still wear a mask. Why does seeing someone in a mask make them so angry and even make some of them laugh? F*ck you. If you don’t want to wear one, fine. But don’t act like those still wearing masks are the “crazy” ones.

    • sparrow says:

      I don’t wear a mask anymore. But I will do so in a space such as a surgery, which seems basic common sense. I’ll also wear a mask if someone wants me to, such as an elderly relative or particular shop. I have no problem with this. I don’t see putting on a mask as some kind of attack on my civil liberties. I carry them round with me in my bag for such occasions. Ditto sanitiser. I am totally surprised that some UK clinicians have gone back to not wearing masks and even shaking hands with their patients. Good grief! This hand shaking was happening before the pandemic and it shocked me then.

  17. I hope karma doesn’t bite her in the ass with her foolishness or maybe I do🤔.

  18. lucy2 says:

    Foolish and selfish, and sadly too common. I see almost no masks. I’ve been wearing one anytime I’m in close quarters or a crowd, I have 2 friends sick with covid right now.
    Foolish in that she’s complained of long covid symptoms, and takes no precautions to prevent it again?
    Selfish in that she has the means to seek the best medical care, and afford time not working. The others working on her sets? Not so much.

  19. Digital Unicorn says:

    She’s a very talented actress and I love her work but from a personality PoV she’s insufferable. The kooky attitude thing means she gets away with a LOT.

    However, if they ever do a biopic of Vivienne Westwood (later in life) she would be a great casting choice.

  20. Aud says:

    Gross. I am vaccinated and boosted and wore masks in public until October. Started to seem pointless since nobody else does it. Went all of the pandemic without getting ill, but got covid within 5 months of removing my mask and infectes my poor husband.

    This is what production wants to avoid and she is too selfish to care.

  21. Sean says:

    She’s had multiple bouts of Covid and continues to suffer from symptoms such as fatigue and memory loss, however she’s in “great health.”

    Sure Jan. Er, I mean Tilda.

    She’s experiencing first hand how detrimental long-gail Covid can be yet she’s refusing to follow the simplest of methods for protection – wearing a mask.

    What an asshat.

  22. Shai says:

    If they asked everyone to wear a mask at all times then just wear the damn mask.

  23. Jay says:

    Asking people to mask on a film set seems entirely reasonable to me, especially if it’s a small production. whether it’s a requirement of the country hosting the film or just for this particular set, why not follow the rules? It might even be true that the film’s insurance requires participants to mask.

    Tilda will be working closely with not only her castmates, but also hair and makeup, camera crew, and support staff, and they probably won’t appreciate being needlessly exposed to Covid and potentially losing work because Tilda doesn’t feel like masking for a few hours a day. This seems incredibly thoughtless and selfish to me and Tilda has gone down in my estimation because of it.

    There’s also a more practical aspect: if there’s a significant outbreak and production has to halt, that’s money down the drain. Sure, if it’s a Marvel movie, they can probably afford it, but a smaller production might not. Plus, permits and locations will have to be changed, along with extending how long the filming will take? That’s a lot to risk.

  24. Bisynaptic says:

    Not shocked. She was always a bit hinky.
    A fool born, every minute.

  25. Linder says:

    She looks like a real goof. She can’t pull off the eccentric look.

    • Christine says:

      Okay, I am entirely pissed off by her Covid stance, but seriously?? You are making me want to defend her with my life.

  26. Lemons says:

    Tilda lives in a literal bubble. She doesn’t have to think about the plebs on public transport and in public spaces. She was probably masking up to avoid being recognized well before the pandemic.

    This isn’t a slam dunk, Tilda. This just tells me that you think you’re out of reach.

  27. Miss Jupitero says:

    What an utter douche. there goes any admiration I might have had for her.

  28. Cait says:

    I’ll make sure to share her concerns with my oncologist. ::eyeroll::

  29. Hannah says:

    We still all have to get tested 3 x a week. Masks indoors on-set. Covid Compliance Officers still on-set patrolling making sure masks are covering your nose and not just a *chin strap*. Mandatory 5 day isolation if you test positive. If either Director, DOP, certain HOD’s or top +-6 on call sheet test + – we get shutdown. That is a lot of money poof 💨 This makes all of us in the film industry look like brats! Not cool

  30. Gaah says:

    Masking on a film set is to protect the crew. It shows how little she thinks of them if she refuses to mask. If a star gets COVID during production, then production is delayed. If a crew member gets COVID during production then the crew member is replaced. Big difference.

  31. The Recluse says:

    Enjoy that decreased life span and health, Tilda.

    We still mask.

  32. Christine says:

    I live in LA, and my son just took a Covid test to make sure he could go on his class trip next week. We mask every time we are anywhere in public, and it’s our new normal.

    I am so tired of celebrities making this some kind of moral stand. Fantastic, my almost 80 year old Mom lives right below us (we have a duplex). This is like the nut allergies in schools, where people puff themselves up and claim to be enlightened because they don’t care, meanwhile, kids with nut allergies die.

  33. Gelya says:

    I am typing this right now with Covid. Did everything right for years, followed all protocols, vaccinated and still got it.
    I work from home, really don’t go anywhere just one small store a week on off times.
    My husband works outdoors and he got it from one of his crew on an job that was outside in fresh air.
    My husband is feeling better. I am still sick. We both have mild cases. I am really sick with a mild case.
    I get it. We are all burned out. We are tired. We know that this is the new normal. People like Tilda need to be respectful and kind. Stop being selfish. Wear your mask when you are told to and don’t make an issue of it.