Ten staff members at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s production company, Westbrook Inc., tested positive for the coronavirus.
What We Know:
- 10 staffers at the Smith’s production company, Westbrook Inc., tested positive for COVID-19, causing the projects they were working on to shut down while other projects continued. The workers that tested positive were retested. All of these came back negative. On Wednesday, the company told Variety that it had been following safety protocols and will continue.
- Employees working on Westbrook sets were tested by the same laboratory, Rapid Reliable Testing, the firm that conducted the original and follow-up tests. However, according to Variety, Westbrook has stopped testing with them and is working with the Department of Public Health for an investigation.
- The two test results did raise questions regarding the lab’s accuracy and the president of Rapid Reliable Testing, Anthony Capone, defended the firm and their results in an interview on Friday. He said the firm relies on molecular tests and that the tests are nasopharyngeal or mid-turbinate nasal swabs, which are reliable. He also confirmed that testing negative after testing positive is possible and does not indicate an inaccurate test.
- “That happens,” Capone said. “Especially if the people caught it at the same time, it’s possible they go through a similar infection period and incubation period.” Since April, Rapid Reliable Testing has been doing over 20,000 tests for cities, businesses, summer camps, and entertainment venues.
- “We have our (quality assurance) process,” Capone said. “We have not found any irregularities in the studio space in California.” It is unclear whether Westbrook has actually ceased testing with the firm and Capone said he cannot discuss specific information regarding the Westbrook outbreak.
Westbrook Inc. is the parent company of Westbrook Studios, which is developing the film about Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams, called, King Richard, and the reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Westbrook Inc. also includes Red Table Talk Production, which produces Jada Pinkett Smith’s talk show.