Sean Penn's CORE to Offer For-Profit COVID-19 Testing for Film, TV Productions

Sean Penn_CORE - Getty - H 2020
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for CORE Gala

CORE will first offer the for-profit testing services to Los Angeles productions with an eye on expanding to other production hubs.

Sean Penn and Ann Lee’s nonprofit Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) pivoted early in the COVID-19 pandemic to help assist Los Angeles with the city’s testing efforts. Now, the organization is pivoting once again to offer private, for-profit COVID-19 testing services to film and TV productions.

Per an announcement from CORE, 100 percent of the net profits from the new service will be funneled back to the organization to help support its community testing programs which provide free COVID-19 testing for at-risk and low-income communities. Los Angeles productions will be the first to access the service with an eye on expansion to other production hubs in the United States.

CORE is offering the service as production across the area resumes following months of shutdown due to the devastating pandemic. Already, CORE has confirmed that it has been commissioned by the AFI Film School to provide testing services for their student film productions, and the organization is in discussion with several Los Angeles-based film and television productions, though details on the latter were not revealed.

“We are eager to offer private testing to film and television productions to not only help fund CORE’s programs that help vulnerable and underserved communities but also to fortify California’s economy. Enabling production companies to safely resume projects with testing will bring back thousands of film and television jobs to Los Angeles, and that’s a critical next step for restoring life in our city,” said Penn in a statement.

To-date, CORE has administered more than 1.5 million free tests. The private testing model will allow CORE to fund and expand its CORE 8 initiative, an integrated approach to COVID-19 relief that combines testing with wraparound services and contact tracing.

“We have expanded to private testing to help offset the amount of funding necessary to continue offering free testing and critical relief services for vulnerable communities who have been significantly and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. We could no longer wait for government agencies to respond by providing additional funding and support,” said Lee.