California based streaming giant Netflix announced a 100 million dollar relief fund for film and television production workers whose jobs have been impacted over the coronavirus outbreak, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos announced the good news in a blog post on Friday.
With almost all the major television and film production suspended globally, this relief fund is a bold move by Ted. An estimated 120,000 crew members including electricians, carpenters and drivers are currently unemployed.
Ted further stated that “Most of the funds will go towards support for the hardest-hit workers on our own productions around the world. 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.”
The media conglomerate will also donate $1 million each to The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists COVID-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and The Actors Fund Emergency Assistance and another $1 million between the Actors’ Fund of Canada and Fondation des Artistes.
Netflix is the first major streaming service to announce the relief fund, however, various films and television unions have come together to fund their workers.
Talking about the crisis, Jennifer Dorning, president of the Department for Professional Employees stated, “Arts, entertainment, and media workers have been hit hard by this public health and economic crisis. Overnight, production and performances industry-wide shut down indefinitely, leaving most entertainment and media workers without a source of income to cover essential expenses. Workers who are left without a paycheck and may not qualify for unemployment have no recourse unless Congress acts now. Elected officials have a moral responsibility to ensure emergency relief packages address these workers’ unique circumstances. DPE affiliate unions representing arts, entertainment, and media professionals are committed to working with the federal government to provide economic relief during this long-term national crisis.”
Even actors such as Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and Justin Bieber have come out and supported such initiatives by giving them funds, while other celebs are urging everyone to donate for such a cause.