Amazon Studios is standing up against recent reports claiming its “Lord of the Rings” set in New Zealand is unsafe. An article published by the New Zealand Herald this month claimed “at least three” stunt workers were injured on the “Rings” set, with two workers requiring surgeries that were not “proactively reported” to the country’s workplace health and safety regulator WeSafe.
“Amazon Studios takes the health, physical and emotional welfare of our cast and crew extremely seriously,” a spokesperson for Amazon Studios said reacting to the report (via Variety). “As a top priority, the production team continues to be in full compliance with the mandated WorkSafe New Zealand Safety and Security government regulations. Any allegation or report that activities on set are unsafe or outside of regulations are completely inaccurate.”
One of the stunt workers injured on the set was reportedly Dayna Grant, whose previous credits include “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Xena: Warrior Princess,” and “Wonder Woman 1984.” Grant went viral last week after fans crowdfunded over $100,000 to help her get emergency brain surgery due to an on-set injury. The production Grant was injured on was not revealed at the time. Grant was experiencing symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury after the injury and was later diagnosed with an 8mm Aneurysm and upper spinal neck injuries.
The New Zealand Herald reported that Grant’s injury was not reported to WorkSafe, but a source told Variety that “Grant’s head injury was determined to be a mild concussion when she received treatment, which is not a ‘notifiable event’ by WorkSafe’s regulations.” The source said Grant was not diagnosed with a brain aneurysm until after she left the set and was cleared to return to work on other projects. WorkSafe defines a “notifiable event” as “an injury or illness that require[s] (or would usually require) a person to be admitted to hospital for immediate treatment.”
Another stunt woman the New Zealand Herald reported on was Elissa Cadwell, who allegedly was paid $500,000 NZD after her injury. Variety reports through a source: “‘The Lord of the Rings’ series has an extremely large amount of stunts, and risk analysis is performed at every stunt site with all near misses and accidents recorded. The production has an injury rate of .068 percent, which mostly consists of sprains, bruises and muscle and soft tissue strains.”
Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” is filming its first season in New Zealand for a reported $465 million. The series does not yet have a release date.