Netflix has created a $100 million relief fund for out-of-work production professionals who are no longer able to work due to calls for social distancing, per a letter from Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Netflix shut down all its productions on March 16, which included season 4 of one of its most popular series, Stranger Things.
Though most of the money will go to “the hardest hit workers on our own productions around the world,” Sarandos said that $15 million will be spent to aid “the broader film and television industry.” That money will be spent on “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,” such as the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US.
Netflix will also reportedly pay those working on now-suspended productions for at least the next two weeks.
Elsewhere in Hollywood, Liz Alper, Jamarah Hayner and Deirdre Mangan — three of the women behind #PayUpHollywood, an initiative that advocates for assistants in the entertainment industry — along with TV writers and other industry professionals created a GoFundMe to raise money for support staff. This includes production assistants, some of the people hit the hardest by the shutdowns.
It is unclear at this point how long productions will be shut down for, or how the entertainment industry will recover from the massive changes made now to halt the continued spread of coronavirus. Right now, the county of Los Angeles — the hub of America’s entertainment industry — is under a “safer at home” order, which means, among other things, that people are no longer allowed to leave their residence for work.
Refinery29 reached out to Netflix for comment.
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