The “Neighbors” actor suggested he was having second thoughts about his decision to participate in Sunday’s ceremony as he took the stage to present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
“Let me start by saying there’s way too many of us in this little room,” Rogen said, drawing nervous laughter from the crowd. “What are we doing? They said this was outdoors. It’s not! They lied to us.”
“We’re in a hermetically sealed tent right now,” he continued. “I would not have come to this. Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than we make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight ... This is insane. I went from wiping my groceries to having Paul Bettany sneeze in my face ― so that’s a big week!”
Rogen’s commentary drew wide praise on social media. Many viewers admitted they felt uneasy observing so many A-list stars present in what appeared to be a single room as the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to surge worldwide.
“They said this was outdoors…it’s not!” Seth Rogen is genuinely not happy about the COVID situation.
— Esther Zuckerman (@ezwrites) September 20, 2021
The celebs are using the Emmys to fight publicly about whether or not they're being COVID-safe! Destroy them Seth Rogen!
— Jenny Singer (@JeanValjenny) September 20, 2021
I like how everyone is doing damage control now because Seth Rogen blew up everyone’s spot with his “Why are there so many people here” bit
— David Gordon (@MrDavidGordon) September 20, 2021
The 2021 Emmy Awards looked significantly different than last year’s ceremony, which was a mostly virtual affair. This year, the event took place at the L.A. Live Event Deck in Los Angeles to accommodate more social distancing measures.
The awards were expected to draw around 500 attendees, all of whom were required to present proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test. That’s a far cry from the 7,000 that can fill the Microsoft Theater, where the ceremony is usually held. Due to international travel restrictions, a satellite viewing party took place at London’s Soho House and was attended by nominees like Gillian Anderson and Olivia Colman.
Still, Rogen’s remarks seemed to catch Emmys producers off-guard. After a commercial break, host Cedric the Entertainer countered the actor’s claims by clarifying that everyone who attended did so in accordance with the previously stated protocols.
“You had to get vaxxed to come here,” Cedric said. “I got vaxxed. I did not have a reaction like Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend, OK? I got Pfizer, you know what I’m saying? Because I’m bougie. That’s the Neiman Marcus of vaccines.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.