British Columbia

Seth Rogen tells B.C.'s young people to 'smoke weed and watch movies' instead of partying

Premier John Horgan put out the call, and now Seth Rogen and Ryan Reynolds have both answered, pleading with young people in B.C. to stop partying and protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

Joins fellow Vancouver native Ryan Reynolds in issuing COVID-19 warning

B.C.'s premier asked film stars Seth Rogen, left, and Ryan Reynolds to help him tamp down big parties that are spreading COVID-19 in the province. He got some choice advice. (CBC)

Canadian-born actor and comedian Seth Rogen tweeted Saturday that the people of British Columbia should "hang out alone and smoke weed and watch movies and TV shows," rather than going out to parties and barbecues, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Last week, Premier John Horgan put out the call to Rogen and actor Ryan Reynolds, and on Friday, Reynolds answered, pleading with young people in B.C. to stop partying and protect "some of the coolest older people on Earth" — including his mom and David Suzuki — from COVID-19.

"People of British Columbia! Please do not go out to parties and BBQs and other large gatherings! The COVID is still out there!" Rogen tweeted.

Later in the day, Horgan retweeted Rogen's message — and added his own: "Thanks, Seth. Pretty much what Dr. Henry was going for here:"  and linking to goodtimes.gov.bc.ca, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's Good Times Guide that offers people in their 20s to 40s cautionary tips on how to have fun without catching and spreading COVID-19.

The Premier's retweet was getting mixed reactions however. "Best retweet ever," according to one person, while another wrote "Perhaps time to do some actual work and scale back connections with policies and consequences."

Recent weeks have seen a surge in infections of the novel coronavirus, led by people between the ages of 20 and 39. On Wednesday, B.C.'s premier suggested Vancouver celebrities like Reynolds and Seth Rogen, who were both born and raised in the city, could help spread the message that large parties aren't safe right now.

Reynolds responded Friday with a typically tongue-in-cheek audio recording directed at Horgan's Twitter account, saying it was a voicemail message he'd left on the premier's phone.

"I'm not sure it's a great idea, frankly. People, I don't think they want medical advice from guys like me, no sir," Reynolds said in the message.

But he went on to say that partying during a pandemic is dangerous, and thousands of young people around the world have become sick or even died from COVID-19.

Beyond that, young people can infect older people, who are much more vulnerable to the illness.

"B.C. is home to some of the coolest older people on Earth. I mean, David Suzuki, he lives there," Reynolds said.

The province is also home to the Deadpool star's mother, Tammy.

"My mom, she doesn't want to be cooped up in her apartment all day. She wants to be cruising Kitsilano Beach looking for some young 30-something Abercrombie burnout to go full Mrs. Robinson on. She is insatiable," Reynolds said.

"I hope that young people in B.C. don't kill my mom, frankly, or David Suzuki, or each other."

Reynolds told CBC News the social media response was his way of answering a call to action and not a symptom of extreme boredom as the pandemic drags on.

"There's a lot going on in the world right now. Hopefully everyone is doing something — big or small — to make things a little more equitable and a little safer. I don't think — or at least I hope — one wouldn't have to be bored in order to do something good," he wrote in a message.

When asked how his mother is doing these days, Reynolds said, "I'd guess mildly angry with me? Probably doing some research to see if there's a 15,000 mornings after pill."

As for Horgan, he told reporters on Friday afternoon that he's feeling "really pleased" with the recording.

"His humour is unparalleled," the premier said. "Underlying that humour is a really serious message."

Ryan Reynolds poses with his mother, Tammy, in a photo posted on Instagram to mark Mother's Day. (Ryan Reynolds/Instagram)

Horgan said that he hopes the message from Reynolds reaches an audience that doesn't tune into Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry's daily briefings. Horgan added that he and Health Minister Adrian Dix have also discussed how to connect with a younger audience through TikTok and YouTube stars, and that he's speaking with singer Michael Bublé as well.

With files from Amy O'Brian, Cathy Kearney

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