Entertainment studios have postponed film and TV productions in hopes to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the U.S., leaving industry professionals out of work and fearful of their financial futures.
However, Netflix has just announced the launch of a $100 million fund that aims to support the cast and crew members, including those working on Stranger Things, The Witcher, and Russian Doll, who are now reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement on the streamer's blog, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said, "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."
According to Sarandos, the fund will primarily go toward supporting the "hardest hit workers" on Netflix productions, though he stops short of explaining exactly how this will play out. He also mentions that $15 million of the fund will benefit non-Netflix productions through third parties and emergency relief non-profits created for cast and crew that are now out of work.
Furthermore, Netflix will also be donating $1 million to the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund, and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US, as well as $1 million between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes. The streamer also has plans to work with industry organizations in Europe, Latin America, and Asia to "create similar creative community emergency relief efforts."
"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."
We will keep you updated once Netflix details the specifics of this new $100 million fund, but this might be a very welcomed addition to the 2 weeks paid Netflix has promised its workers while they wait out the current health crisis.