Netflix said Friday it is establishing a $100 million US relief fund for workers in the worldwide creative community affected by the coronavirus, which has caused the halt of most film and television production.
“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,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief creative officer, said in a statement.
The majority of the fund will support the hardest-hit workers on Netflix’s own productions around the world, Sarandos said, and will supplement the two weeks of pay the company already agreed to pay the cast and crew on suspended productions.
In an effort to support the broader film and television industry, $15 million (all figures US) of the fund will be distributed to “third parties and nonprofits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base,” according to the statement.
In the U.S. and Canada, Netflix said it will donate $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 United States, and $1 million between the AFC, formerly known as the Actors Fund of Canada, and Fondation des Artistes.
Elsewhere, including Europe, Latin America and Asia, Netflix is coordinating with industry organizations to create similar relief efforts, Sarandos said, with announcements planned next week on funding those efforts.
“What’s happening is unprecedented,” he said.
“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.”
Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus have left the entertainment industry reeling, with the suspension of most productions and the closures of movie theaters, Broadway plays and concert postponements.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
With files from The Canadian Press