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Bill Pullman Urges People to Wear a "Freedom Mask" in Alamo Drafthouse PSA

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 7/4/2020 Hilary Lewis

Bill Pullman is the latest star to urge people to wear face masks as the number of newly reported cases of the novel coronavirus continues to go up in various states.

The actor filmed a PSA for the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain in which he urges people to wear what he dubs a "freedom mask" as they celebrate the Fourth of July.

Pullman paid tribute to his role as fictional president Thomas J. Whitmore in the 1996 sci-fi film Independence Day by noting that while he "may not be your president right now … the Fourth of July is still my favorite holiday and it always will be."

Pullman said he'd be celebrating Independence Day by donning a facial covering when he goes to public places and explained that if others did the same, they'd be closer to being free to return to bars, restaurants, schools and movie theaters.

Amid increasing numbers of new coronavirus cases, some states have closed bars and cracked down on indoor dining at restaurants in an effort to reduce the number of new infections, and upcoming movies have pushed back their release dates as major movie theater chains have delayed their reopenings until the end of July.

Public officials have also encouraged wearing face masks, with some states experiencing spikes in new coronavirus cases recently requiring that people wear facial coverings in public. Still, whether or not to wear a mask has become a hot-button issue. In recent days, stars like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling were among those taking to social media to encourage their followers to wear face masks.

Alamo Drafthouse has said when its theaters reopen, it will require patrons to wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking and will provide those without masks with one for free. Additionally, customers will have their temperature checked and staffers will pay extra close attention to anyone who appears sick, possibly asking them to leave, with their tickets and food refunded. The Texas-based theater chain, which operates 41 locations, said it would begin reopening sometime this month but that not all theaters would reopen at once.

This is the at least the second time in recent months that Pullman has publicly referenced his Independence Day role. In May, when Trump tweeted a heavily altered clip from the film in which his face is superimposed on Whitmore's body as Pullman's character delivers the film's memorable "Today we celebrate our Independence Day" speech, Pullman told The Hollywood Reporter, "My voice belongs to no one but me, and I'm not running for president — this year."

Watch Pullman's full PSA below.

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