Some rights reserved - Ryan Schreiber
A Very Yukon Scandal
By: Jack Amos
Back when vaccines were extremely scarce, and reserved only for front line workers and the most vulnerable populations, Vancouver casino owner Rodney Baker and his Russian actress wife Ekaterina flew from their home in Vancouver to Beaver Creek, Yukon. It’s a tiny, specifically placed border town of approximately one hundred residents, and it's a town that I, even as a Yukoner, had never heard of. Nevertheless it is an odd destination for a CEO who made over ten million in 2020 alone, nevermind the fact that his wife is a flailing B-movie supporting actor. So, what exactly was the goal behind this relatively ill thought out journey? Well, it just so happens that this was Rodney and Ekaterina Baker’s master plan to jump the queue and receive their COVID-19 vaccination several months early. Or, as I heard another concerned citizen call it, the “Back to fun shot”.
It is logical to think that these actions were the result of what is being discussed frequently in the United States and Europe; the prospect that those who have their full vaccination records will be allowed to travel. If this is the case, then Rodney and Ekaterina (who, I might add, had an exemplary performance in a supporting role in the 2020 film, Fatman) Baker, simply broke travel restrictions and isolation laws, lied about their identities, and endangered an entire community that is situated hours away from the nearest hospital, all so they could just fly back to their holiday home in Barbados in the spring.
What I find both confusing and slightly comical, is the fact that the Moderna vaccine is a two dose vaccine, with the second shot being administered twenty eight days after the initial shot for some, and as long as four months for the general population. What was their plan exactly? Were they going to charter another flight back to Beaver Creek in four weeks time? Or four months? Or were they going to fly elsewhere, to a similar environment like the Northwest Territories? Who knows.
Another aspect of this story that cracks me up, is that they claimed that they were residents who worked at the local motel, and then immediately after they received their shot, they started asking people for a ride to the goddamn airport! They hadn’t even organized travel back to their private jet, even though the airport is approximately one mile away from Beaver Creek. Even if they hadn’t organized a ride, you would think that they would be perfectly capable of walking this distance, even in the harsh northern winter. It seems like a long way to travel, with a lot of thought put in as well, only to forget about multiple important and crucial elements for executing their scheme.
Still though, it truly is amazing the international fame that can come from excessive selfishness. The Guardian did an article on them. Quite a hatchet job, really drove home the fact that they were two white people who deliberately stole medicine from an indiginous community which, I mean, is exactly what they did. Hey, after four hundred years of getting away with it, who would have thought that things have changed? They were just following the footsteps of their similarly exploitative ancestors. It could even be explained as cultural.
Taking a moment to swivel away from the socio-judicial side of things, let's take a moment to look at the Russian woman who married the rich guy for citizenship and his zamboni: Ekaterina Baker. More specifically, her film career. Even more specifically, her “supporting” role in the aforementioned 2020 holiday film Fatman, directed by Eshom and Ian Nelms, in which she was cast as the character “Helga”.
It’s a Holiday Action Comedy that centers around a Santa Claus who is struggling to save his business, but is interrupted when a spoiled twelve year old hires a cold-hearted hitman to kill him, because said child received a lump of coal in his stocking. I also think that it’s worth mentioning that Santa Claus is played by Mel Gibson, and that for most of the movie he can be seen sporting his twin .49 calibre glocks. Walton Goggins is also in it, if that matters.
Now, I have read the plot synopsis twice, and nowhere apart from her IMDB page does the character “Helga” come up, so unfortunately I have not acquired information on just what type of characters she plays. That being said, if her ‘exclusive’ interview in ‘Rich Girl Network’ is anything to go by, she has been described as a “Bond-type girl” and that she can “Play the role well”. This is much more an indicator that she may not be quite the top rate actor that the article in ‘Pump It Up Magazine!’ made her out to be, and that Fatman is more than likely to go down in the history books next to Zardoz as a true testimony to just how awful B-movies can be.
I mean seriously though people, at least leave her alone! It probably wasn't her idea and anyway, and even if it was, isn't being in Fatman more than enough of a career wrecker? Does she really need angry masses screaming for her head when she had to be in the same room with Mel Gibson and Walton Goggins? And even more, now she’s typecast! Just look at how poorly that turned out for Mark Hamill. That guy was stuck with a small fortune and royalty checks until the second Star Wars reboot and even that didn't happen until he was at least sixty. What if her thirties are not as kind as she hoped? What if things start to slip, and then a couple gray hairs later her loving hubby trades her in for a newer edition and she’s stuck until a Fatman sequel, and that’s not even guaranteed to have Helga in it! What then? It’s cold heartedness like this that makes me want to do something, something that will really make a change. Like, start a bumper sticker campaign. Something along the lines of “SCREW ROD, SPARE HELGA!” or maybe even just “SAVE HELGA!”. You know, something flashy. Bold letters, bright colours. Get really in your face about it.
But, going back again to the whole concept of “What even was it that they were trying to do”? At the end of the day, they were just trying to return to their normal lives, but by taking advantage of remote areas and putting the residents of those areas in extreme danger. The aspect that still befuddles me in the lack of thought they put into their plan. Why didn't they just go to Whitehorse? Why didn't they rent a car and drive it to Beaver Creek? Surely a multi million dollar private jet in Beaver Creek is bound to attract at least some attention. Where were they going to get the second booster shot? Alas, these are all questions that, for the most part, have remained unanswered. Despite the very public uproar, we still have yet to hear a public apology from the couple, let alone a concrete sign of remorse such as donating to the Beaver Creek First Nations Community. In a time where vaccines have since become more widely available, but still restricted, let’s hope this served as a cautionary tale for others hoping to jump the queue.