Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos has announced the streaming giant will launch a $100 million fund to help the film and television industry through the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has shut down productions across the entertainment industry, including at Netflix. The streamer has suspended filming on nearly all of its series, including blockbuster series The Witcher and Stranger Things.
In a statement, Sarandos says that $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 Netflix has a large production base.
The streamer 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 in the US, and $1 million between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes.
Read the full statement from Netflix below:
“The Covid-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community. 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. So we’ve created a $100 million fund to help with hardship in the creative community.
Most of the fund 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.
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.
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 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. In other regions, including Europe, Latin America and Asia where we have a big production presence, we are working with existing industry organizations to create similar creative community emergency relief efforts. We will announce the details of donations to groups in other countries next week.
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.
-Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer
Netflix’s fund follows in the footsteps of Alamo Drafthouse, which announced this week a $2 million fund to provide relief for furloughed employees as their theaters shut down across the country. This according to Indiewire.
California, New York and soon, Illinois, all vital film and TV production hubs in the United States, have barred nonessential workers to “stay at home” effective immediately. Under California state law, people who violate the order could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by no more than a $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison. But Governor Newsom told reporters Thursday that the order will not be enforced by law enforcement.