Streaming giant Netflix has announced it has created a $100 million fund to help assist people in the entertainment world whose jobs have been impacted by the numerous movie and TV show production closures due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
In a blog post, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said that TV and film production businesses have been devastated by the virus. He mentioned that “almost all” TV and movie productions have now closed down, leaving “hundreds of thousands” of cast and crew out of work.
People who are paid hourly wages have been particularly impacted, including electricians, carpenters, drivers, and hair and makeup artists, Sarandos pointed out.
“This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide. So we’ve created a $100 million fund to help with hardship in the creative community,” Sarandos said.
The majority of this money will go to workers who have been the “hardest hit” by the global pandemic. “We’re in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production. This is in addition to the two weeks pay we’ve already committed to the crew and cast on productions we were forced to suspend last week,” he said.
Additionally, $15 million of the $100 million will be given to non-profit groups who give relief to those in the creative field that have been impacted by the virus. Specifically, Netflix is giving $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund, and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance.
For places like Europe, Latin America, and Asia, Netflix said it is in communication with local entertainment groups to support relief; more details will be announced later.
“What’s happening is unprecedented. We are only as strong as the people we work with and Netflix is fortunate to be able to help those hardest hit in our industry through this challenging time,” Sarandos said.
Some of Netflix’s biggest shows, including Stranger Things and The Witcher, have paused production indefinitely due to the virus.
Movie theatres are also grappling with the virus. With movie theatres throughout the US shut down, the head of a cinema lobbying group has called on the government to pass a trillion-dollar relief bill to help theatre chains that could go bankrupt.