Officials with The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund) are warning that while yesterday’s end to the SAG-AFTRA strike is welcome news, the economic and health impact of the months-long work stoppage “will impact the industry for months to come.”
“We are pleased that the SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical Committee and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement,” said Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of the Entertainment Community Fund, in a statement, “but we are very concerned about the long-term impact that the work stoppage will continue to have on people directly and indirectly affected.”
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According to Benincasa, the Fund has distributed more than $11.2 million to more than 5,200 people working in film and television. “It will be months before the industry fully recovers,” he said, “and we encourage those in need to reach out to the Fund. And we hope that those who can help, continue to do so.”
The national human services organization addresses the needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing.
In its statement today, the Fund notes that while both the SAG-AFTRA and earlier WGA strikes have now ended, people who are unemployed will need to find new jobs or wait until their prior work resumes.
“Many have back rent that is owed and are facing potential eviction,” reads the statement. “Others have lost health insurance and have additional medical expenses, with others needing increased mental health support. Coupled with the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – a 2023 survey of more than 4,000 people who sought support from the Entertainment Community Fund during the Covid-19 pandemic found that more than 50% of respondents are still having difficulty finding employment – these are dire times for the industry.”
Annette Bening, Chair of the Board of the Entertainment Community Fund, said in a statement today, “Even now that the strikes have ended, we know many will face challenges for weeks and months to come, and we must continue to be the safety net they need. I encourage all who can to lend their support to the Fund, and for those in need of assistance, we’re here to help.”
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