Story at a glance
- Most of the fund will be for Netflix crew and cast.
- At least $15 million will go to third parties and nonprofits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in countries where Netflix has a large production base.
- Widespread layoffs have hit the U.S. as businesses have had to close.
Netflix has created a $100 million relief fund for workers in the creative community as “almost all television and television film production has now ceased” globally due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As hundreds of thousands of crew and cast have been left without jobs, including electricians, carpenters, drivers, hair and makeup artists and more, Netflix has created the fund to help support the hardest-hit workers on its own productions around the world.
“This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief creative officer, said in a statement. “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.”
This is in addition to the two weeks of pay the company already agreed to pay the cast and crew on suspended productions.
Most of the fund will go toward Netflix’s own workers, but $15 million will go to “third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base,” according to the statement.
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The streaming service said it will also be donating $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance, and $1 million between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes. Netflix also plans to work with existing industry organizations to create similar relief efforts in Europe, Latin America and Asia, where the company has a big production presence.
“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.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread layoffs across a range of industries as businesses have shuttered. Weekly claims for unemployment rose to 281,000 between March 8-14, spiking 70,000 from the 211,000 applications for jobless benefits filed between March 1 and 7.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and to stay at least 6 feet away from any other people as confirmed cases of the coronavirus steadily rise.
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