Netflix revealed Friday (March 20) it has established a US$100 million fund to “help with hardship in the creative community” inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virus has prompted delays and cancellations to film and television productions on a global scale, leaving “hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs,” Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, said in a statement.
Those individuals, he said, include professionals such as 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,” Sarandos stated.
Most of the fund will go towards support for the “hardest hit workers” on the company’s own productions around the world. “We’re in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production,” he added.
This is in addition to the two weeks pay the streamer said it has committed to the crew and cast on productions Netflix was forced to suspend last week.
“By 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,” Sarandos said.
Netflix will also 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,” Sarandos stated.
“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.”