‘SNL’ Paid Audience Members $150 to Comply With COVID-19 Restrictions

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“Saturday Night Live” is in the clear from the New York State Health Department after controversy about them paying audience members to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. Under state guidelines, TV shows are not permitted to have live audiences, but they can have an audience of cast, crew and other paid employees.

So audience members were paid at the end of the evening. One audience member told Inside Edition he received a check for $150, which was a complete surprise. He also said he and his friends who attended were given rapid COVID-19 tests before being allowed to enter.

“There is no evidence of noncompliance” at “SNL,” the state health department said.

The comedy show was also under scrutiny after this week's scheduled musical guest Morgan Wallen was seen partying maskless and kissing women at an Alabama bar and a house party just days before his performance date.

“SNL” dropped Wallen as a musical guest, the singer announced in an emotional video on his Instagram.

"I got a call from the show letting me know I will no longer be able to play," Wallen said in the video. "I respect the show's decision, because I know that I put them in jeopardy and I take ownership for this."

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