Netflix will create a $1 million fund to help the creative community affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos announced Friday.
“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,” he said in a statement. “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.”
He explained that most of the fund will go towards the workers on Netflix’s own productions, who are hit hardest by the pandemic: “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.”
And $15 million of the fund will go to third parties and nonprofits offering emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in countries where Netflix has a big production base. Also, $1 million each will go to the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance, while $1 million will be split 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,” he said.
“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,” Sarandos concluded.
According to the CDC, there are more than 15,000 total cases in the United States, with over 200 total deaths due to the virus.