Bruce Willis Responds To Mask Controversy

You may never watch Die Hard the same way again. Actor Bruce Willis was spotted on Monday at a Rite Aid in Los Angeles, but with an essential accessory missing. Indeed, reports say that Willis refused to wear a mask, despite the fact that he was wearing a bandana around his neck. We're not quite sure why the actor didn't simply pull the bandana up to cover his nose and mouth, but he allegedly refused to, and ended up leaving the store without purchasing a thing (via Page Six).

Interestingly, however, even if Willis had decided to pull up his bandana, studies show that they're actually not especially effective when it comes to the spread of COVID-19. According to CNBC, "In experiments, bandanas, handkerchiefs, fleece balaclavas (cold-weather gear that covers the entire face except for the eyes) and neck gaiters (tubes of performance fabric typically used for running outdoors), offered very little protection." In addition, researchers at Duke found that "bandanas reduced the rate of droplet transmission by a factor of two," compared to N95 masks which are advertised to filter 95% of particulates (via Business Insider).

Due to his lapse of judgment in the store, Willis was asked to leave the Rite Aid.

Willis received a great deal of criticism on social media for not wearing his mask

In response to the criticism, Bruce Willis told People that the entire transgression was "an error in judgment." He added, "Be safe out there everyone and let's continue to mask up."

Photos of the actor not wearing a mask circulated the internet, and he began trending on Twitter as users criticized his irresponsible decision. One person tweeted, "Why is it SOOO hard for some people to show consideration for their fellow human?" Another user said, "I thought that most celebs would welcome the anonymity offered by a mask. Clearly not the aging tough guy species."

Backlash toward the actor was especially intense due to the incredibly high amounts of COVID-19 cases in California, the total being estimated over two million (via MSN News). In just LA alone, where Willis committed his mask offense, there has been an estimated 950,000 cases (via the Los Angeles Times). It's especially concerning that Willis was disobeying the coronavirus guidelines, as his older age puts him in a higher risk category. In addition, he has been living with his family, including his three daughters (who are grown) and ex-wife Demi Moore, which he could have put at risk by not wearing his mask (via Page Six).