Kevin Bacon launches '6 Degrees' campaign encouraging people to stay home as coronavirus spreads

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Kevin Bacon is self-isolating for Kyra Sedgwick.

On Wednesday, the Footloose star helped launch the “#IStayHomeFor” PSA, based on the concept of six degrees of separation, encouraging everyone who can to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kevin Bacon is staying home for wife Kyra Sedgwick amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Screenshot: Kevin Bacon via Instagram)

“Hi folks. You know me, right?” Bacon, 61, said at the start of the video. “I’m technically only six degrees from you,” referring to the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” based on the six degrees concept that everyone is connected through six steps.

The City Hall star continued, “Right now, like people around the world, I’m staying home because it saves lives and it is the only way we’re going to slow down the spread of this coronavirus. Because the contact you make with someone who makes contact with someone else — that may be what somebody’s mom or grandpa or wife sick.”

“Everyone of us has someone who is worth staying home for — and I’m staying home for Kyra Sedgwick,” his wife, the actress, whom he married in 1988.

From off-camera, The Closer actress yelled, “Kev!” but he continued with a call to action. Bacon asked everyone watching to post a video or a photo of a sign sharing who they are self-isolating for using the hashtag “#IStayHomeFor” — and encourage their friends to follow suit.

“And since we’re all connected by various degrees, trust me I know we can all work together to stay home and keep each other safe,” he concluded.

Bacon tagged Jimmy Fallon, Elton John, Demi Lovato, Kevin Hart, David Beckham and Brandi Carlile to kick it off, but added, “I encourage YOU ALL to join in too!” There have already been a lot of sweet responses.

The campaign is being done in partnership with the advertising agency McCann.

Bacon said last year that he was first offended by the “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. Taking off that six degrees of separation concept, that anyone in Hollywood could be linked through their film credits back to Bacon in six steps.

“‘They’re making fun of me,’” he recalled thinking. “I thought the joke was, ‘Can you believe that such a lightweight could be connected to Laurence Olivier or Meryl Streep or whatever in six steps or less?' ... That’s how that’s just the actor’s insecurity. That’s how I felt.”

But he learned to embrace it — he does have an extensive and impressive resume — and even used the name for his charity, Six Degrees, which he launched in 2007.

“If you take me out of the six degrees idea it really is a beautiful concept because we really are all connected,” he said at the time. “The things that we do here now, in our block, affect people on the other side of the world and they affect people on the other side of town.”

For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, follow along here. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides. 

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