Netflix launches $100m coronavirus relief fund for out-of-work creatives

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

Netflix has set up a $100m fund for creatives whose jobs have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In response to the collapse of many productions globally, the streaming giant has announced that it will help support those in the community who have found themselves out of work. The majority of funds will go towards those affected by the collapse of Netflix’s own productions, such as season two of The Witcher which was shut down when the actor Kristofer Hivju tested positive for the virus.

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“The Covid-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community,” Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer, said in a statement. “Almost all television and film production has now ceased globally – leaving hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs. These include electricians, carpenters and drivers, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis. 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.”

Advertisement As well as the announced fund, Netflix had already agreed to pay workers two weeks’ worth of wages. The company will also offer $15m to not-for-profits that offer emergency relief to out-of-work cast and crew members in countries where they have major productions. “What’s happening is unprecedented,” Sarandos added. “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.” The statement follows news that an estimated 120,000 film industry workershave lost their jobs as a result of the crisis, according to the US entertainment industry union IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees). Global productions that have been shutdown include sequels to Avatar, Mission: Impossible, The Matrix and Jurassic World as well as new films from Ridley Scott and Guillermo del Toro. This week saw the Democratic congressman Adam Schiff team up with three dozen lawmakers to send a letter to Nancy Pelosi asking for provisions for those working in the entertainment industry. “They’re every bit as deserving of a financial lifeline as anyone else in the country,” Schiff said to Deadline. “And in some ways, we should be even more in debt because so many are finding solace and entertainment in watching their creative work product from home right now.” America faces an epic choice... ... in the coming year, and the results will define the country for a generation. These are perilous times. Partisan politics are warping the conversation, getting in the way of public health and global security. This US administration is establishing new norms of behaviour. Truth is being chased away. But with your help we can continue to put it center stage. Rampant disinformation, partisan news sources and social media's tsunami of fake news is no basis on which to inform the American public in 2020. The need for a robust, independent press has never been greater, and with your support we can continue to provide fact-based reporting that offers public scrutiny and oversight. Our journalism is free and open for all, but it's made possible thanks to the support we receive from readers like you across America in all 50 states. Our journalism relies on our readers’ generosity – your financial support has meant we can keep investigating, disentangling and interrogating. It has protected our independence, which has never been so critical. We are so grateful. We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable.

Source: The Guardian

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