Netflix is coming to the aid of many in the entertainment industry who’ve been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic.
The streaming giant announced Friday that it is creating a $100 million fund to help cast and crew members such as hairstylists, electricians and others who are paid hourly wages and have found themselves without work.
“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,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, wrote in a statement. “Beyond helping workers on our own productions, we also want to support the broader film and television industry. So $15 million of the fund 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.”
Sarandos clarified that this fund would be in addition to the two weeks’ pay Netflix already pledged to their own cast and crew when they were forced to suspend production last week.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced multiple productions to shut down for the time being to curb the spread of the virus. Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. are just among the few movie studios to halt production on their films, leaving some crew members out of work.
“In the United States and Canada non-profits already exist to do this work. We will be donating $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US, and $1 million between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes,” the statement read.
Sarandos said Netflix would be working with existing industry organizations in regions where the streaming giant has a big production presence to collaborate on relief efforts.
“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 wrote.