Entertainment Community Fund Has Distributed More Than $6 Million In Financial Aid To Industry Workers Since Start Of WGA Strike – Update

2ND UPDATE: The Entertainment Community Fund has now distributed more than $6 million in financial assistance since May 1 to more than 2,885 struggling film and TV workers impacted by the ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA. That’s up from the more than $5.4 million that’s been distributed to over 2,600 film and TV workers from just a week ago.

UPDATED, 2:52 PM: Requests for emergency financial assistance continue to pour into the Entertainment Community Fund during the industry’s ongoing strikes. The Fund has distributed more than $5.4 million to more than 2,600 film and TV workers during the strikes – up from over $4.7 million granted to more than 2,300 workers just a week ago.

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As of August 25, the Fund has raised more than $7.6 million from more than 9,500 donors — from over $7 million from 8,400-plus donors a week ago.

PREVIOUSLY, August 21: The Entertainment Community Fund has raised more than $7 million and distributed $4.7 million-plus to more than 2,300 film and TV workers as of Friday during the strikes by the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA. The WGA’s strike began May 2 and SAG-AFTRA’s started July 14.

“Given the heightened rate of requests for emergency financial assistance due to the work stoppage, the Fund is distributing about $400,000-$500,000 per week, compared to an average of $75,000 per week in the first half of 2023,” the ECF said in an update today. The greatest number of applications for financial assistance are from California, followed by Atlanta and New York.

The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly known as The Actors Fund, is helping film and television workers in need with emergency financial assistance to cover basic living expenses such as rent, groceries, health insurance, and medical bills, as well as mental health support.

Industry workers in need of assistance can apply here.

The need for assistance, ECF says, has been compounded by loss of work associated with the Covid pandemic. “Due to the pandemic entertainment industry shutdown, people’s savings were depleted when they couldn’t work then, and they haven’t yet had the time or work to recover/rebuild savings. Many are in extremely fragile situations and were less prepared/able to plan for the work stoppage associated with the strikes.”

For now, the Entertainment Community Fund is able to provide one grant to those applying for financial assistance due to the strikes. “If we are able to offer second grants, we will update our website accordingly,” the Fund said. “We expect a significant increase of inquiries in the coming months, especially if the work stoppage continues. We saw this in the last ‘07-’08 Writers Strike as well.”

Since May 1, the Fund has raised more than $7 million from more than 8,400 donors.

“The Entertainment Community Fund is overcome with gratitude to the prominent leaders in our community who have donated in support of film and television workers in need,” said Annette Bening, Chair of the Board of the Entertainment Community Fund. “Each day, the calls for help increase; these gifts will immediately assist so many in our industry who are still struggling to recover after the pandemic. We also hope that these impactful gifts will inspire others, if they can, to donate to support our crucial work.”

Prominent donors include:

  • The Katie McGrath & JJ Abrams Family Foundation

  • Stacey Abrams

  • Annette Bening

  • Tom Bergeron

  • Greg Berlanti

  • Rachel Bloom

  • Rosanne Cash in memory of Johnny Cash

  • Suzanne Collins & Cap Pryor

  • Minnie Driver

  • Vince Gilligan

  • Seth MacFarlane

  • Lynn Nottage

  • Michelle Pfeiffer & David E. Kelley

  • Daniel Radcliffe

  • Shonda Rhimes

  • Steven Spielberg & Kate Capshaw

  • Union Support includes: IATSE’s donation of $4 million total across MPTF and Actors Fund of Canada

  • “Countless” third party fundraisers to benefit the Fund.

  • “Grassroots outpouring of support; donors inspiring others in their networks.”

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