Back in 2014, the news that Harrison Ford had broken his leg on the set of The Force Awakens shook us all to the core. In February of this year, the UK government brought charges against a British production company for violating workplace health and safety laws. And now our nightmare is finally over, as Foodles Production has pleaded guilty.
Foodles Production, owned by Disney, told the court that, yes, it broke the law by not ensuring workplace safety at Pinewood studios. The company had been charged with four violations; it pleaded guilty to two, and the remaining two charges were dropped. Sentencing (i.e. how much Foodles will have to pay) will occur at another time.
A UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) spokesperson said, “This was a foreseeable incident. Foodles Production (UK) Ltd has accepted it failed to protect actors and staff, and HSE welcomes the firm’s guilty plea.”
Now, while we may scoff at the idea of millionaire Harrison Ford being a worker in danger from violations of workplace safety laws the same way someone operating heavy machinery is, the HSE has a message for us:
The British film industry has a world renowned reputation for making exceptional films. Managing on-set risks in a sensible and proportionate way for all actors and staff – regardless of their celebrity status – is vital to protecting both on-screen and off-screen talent, as well as protecting the reputation of the industry.
Consider us chastised—although not as chastised as Foodles will be when the bill comes.