Netflix Establishes $100 Million Fund to Assist Workers

Published on March 23, 2020

Netflix is looking out for their industry. The mega streaming giant has established a $100 million fund. It was issued in order to aid their workers hit worst by the coronavirus. Netflix was investing $20 billion into productions this year. However, many of their productions have shut down, leaving workers without gigs and paychecks. Netflix is doing what they can to help. 

Out-of-Works Casts and Crews

Netflix had productions all over the world affected by the coronavirus. Netflix confirmed they’ll pay workers for two weeks’ work following the production suspensions. $15 million is going to third parties and non-profits providing relief to casts and crews now out-of-work. They’re working out all the logistics at the moment. 

The Funds

As for the rest of the money, Netflix is kindly donating a $1 million a pop to SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the United States. They’re donating another $1 million to the AFC and Fondation des Artistes. They’ll pslit the million. As for Asia, Europe, and Latin America, Netflix will provide similar donations to the creative communities there. Again, they’re figuring it all out at the moment. 

How Many Jobs Lost?

120,000 crew jobs are gone.That’s 80% of the 150,000 members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Most productions continued to pay their crews for the two weeks following production shutdowns. Given that production is unlikely to resume in the next few weeks or months, that leaves many workers without pay or answers about their future. 

Netflix is Doing the Right Thing

Not all major businesses are being as kind and charitable as Netflix during this time. They deserve applause for looking out for crews across the globe. From the sound of it, major studios aren’t going as far as Netflix in their charity, but then again, Netflix is in a much better, more secure place than most studios at the moment.

Netflix’s Blog Post

In a blog post, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, laid out their plans for the $100 million fund. 

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.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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