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“The COVID-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community,” said the platform’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
Netflix has just announced the creation of a $100 million relief fund to help members of the creative community who are unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As workers whose jobs don’t allow them to “work from home,” crew workers on film and television productions are unable to earn an income during this difficult time.
“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,” Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “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.”
The bulk of the money from the coronavirus relief fund will go toward supporting laid-off crew members on Netflix productions. “We’re in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production,” said Sarandos. “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.”
$15 million of the fund will go to third parties and non-profits that offer emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in countries where there’s a large production base. In the U.S. and Canada, Netflix will donate $1 million each to non-profits 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.
“What’s happening is unprecedented,” said Sarandos. “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 company also plans to work with existing industry organizations in other regions, including Europe, Latin America and Asia where many Netflix films and shows are filmed, to create similar creative community emergency relief efforts. Meanwhile, fashion and beauty brands like Pyer Moss, LVMH and L’Oréal have also stepped up to offer support in any way possible.