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HBO to Pay Actors on Shows Impacted by Coronavirus Production Delays

There is no indication that below the line employees or other workers will receive payments.

Michael Quigley, Kevin Reilly and Sarah AubreyHBO Max presentation, Warner Bros TCA Winter Press Tour, Panels, Los Angeles, USA - 15 Jan 2020

Michael Quigley, Kevin Reilly and Sarah Aubrey at an HBO Max presentation during the TCA 2020 Winter Press Tour.

David Buchan/Variety/Shutterstock

HBO is reportedly going to begin paying cast members on shows that have had their production impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Deadline reported that HBO has agreed to a payment schedule that will include giving actors 25 percent of their pay now, 25 percent when production on their shows was supposed to start, and the remaining 50 percent when filming commences. The publication provided no indication that below the line employees or other workers would receive payments.

An HBO spokesperson did not return a request for comment.

The HBO news came one week after Netflix made headlines for beginning to minimum guarantees to cast members on its shows that have been impacted by coronavirus-related production shutdowns. Like Netflix, HBO parent company WarnerMedia is pledging $100 million in relief to workers affected by production shutdowns.

The Deadline report also noted that other studios are still pondering their options, with some of their labor executives arguing that the production delays are essentially hiatuses, therefore meaning that actors should not be paid. The publication noted that the SAG-AFTRA union reportedly does not agree with the hiatus arguments and may threaten to file grievances if the issue is not resolved.

It is unclear if actors on the following programs will be paid by HBO, but HBO series that have had their production impacted by the coronavirus include “Succession,” “Barry,” “The Righteous Gemstones,” and “Euphoria.”

While the coronavirus has caused significant disruptions across the entertainment industries, streaming services and other television platforms are reportedly enjoying considerable spikes in popularity as more consumers hole up indoors. WarnerMedia recently announced that HBO Now has enjoyed a surge in popularity and the company also said that overall television viewing across the industry has grown by 20 percent recently. WarnerMedia is still expected to release its upcoming HBO Max streaming service in May.

There are several organizations and programs offering financial aid to entertainment industry employees whose livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

IndieWire is keeping track of all of the entertainment industry’s events and projects that have been impacted by the outbreak. IndieWire is also tracking the industry’s ongoing events and positive happenings during the pandemic, including Netflix’s new and upcoming film and television releases.

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