Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos has announced the streaming giant is creating a $100 million fund to help the film and television industry through the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic has shut down productions across the entertainment industry, including at Netflix. The streamer has suspended filming on nearly all of its series, including blockbuster series “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things.”
“The Covid-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community,” Sarandos said in a statement. “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.”
The majority of Netflix’s $100 million fund will go to support the hardest hit crew members of their own productions around the world, but $15 million of the total fund is being committed “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.”
Netflix is also committing $1 million to pre-existing emergency funds, including the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund, and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US. A $1 million donation is also being given to the AFC and the Fondation des Artistes.
Sarandos says in a statement, “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.”
Netflix’s fund follows in the footsteps of Alamo Drafthouse, which announced this week a $2 million fund to provide relief for furloughed employees as their theaters shut down across the country.