LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Streaming giant Netflix announced Friday it will donate $100 million in relief to workers in the entertainment industry who have lost their jobs due to TV and film production shutdowns brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a blog post that a majority of the money would go to crew members on Netflix’s own productions which have been brought to a halt.
“Most of the fund will go towards support for the hardest hit workers on our own productions around the world,” Sarandos wrote. “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.”
$15 million will be set aside for nonprofits and third parties who are providing financial relief to “out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base,” Sarandos wrote.
Netflix will also donate $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance. Another $1 million will be split between AFC and the Fondation des Artistes.
Another $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US, and $1 million between the Actors Fund of America and the Fondation des Artistes.
According to a report in Variety Wednesday, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) revealed 120,000 of its members had lost jobs.
The IATSE has about 150,000 members who work in all aspects of film and TV production, running the gamut from editors, camera operators, set painters, craft service workers, animators and technicians.
Most of them are freelance and contract workers.
U.S. Rep Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday, urging her to include entertainment workers in any new relief legislation.
“We urge you to include protections for freelance and contract workers in the entertainment industry who have lost work because of coronavirus-related cancellations or postponements,” Schiff wrote Thursday. “For every worker or performer on stage or in front of the camera, there are dozens more who make their living in this industry—an industry in crisis, with virtually every workplace in the country shut down over the past week.”
Earlier this week, major theater chains AMC and Regal shut down all their theaters, while studios have been forced to push back the release dates of several major films, including “Fast 9,” “Black Widow,” “A Quiet Place: Part II,” the latest Bond movie “No Time To Die” and “Mulan.”