Netflix sets up relief fund for workers hit by coronavirus crisis

By Associated Press Reporters

Netflix has said it is establishing a 100 million dollar relief fund for workers in the TV and film industry around the world affected by the coronavirus crisis.

“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.

The majority of the fund will support the hardest-hit workers on Netflix’s own productions around the world, Mr Sarandos said. The money will supplement the two weeks of pay the company already agreed to pay the cast and crew on suspended TV and film productions.

In an effort to support the broader industry, 15 million dollars of the fund will be distributed 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”, according to Mr Sarandos.

In the US and Canada, Netflix said it will donate 1 million dollars 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 dollars between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes.

Elsewhere, including Europe, Latin America and Asia, Netflix is coordinating with industry organisations to create similar relief efforts, Mr 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 closure of cinemas and Broadway plays, and concert postponements.