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22 March 2020
INVESTMENT

Netflix creates $100 million fund to aid Hollywood labour force

Studios have halted productions around the world in response to the coronavirus, putting actors, writers, truck drivers, sound engineers and gaffers out of work

The federal government is considering a multi-trillion-dollar bailout of companies and small businesses affected by COVID-19

by Bloomberg

Netflix has launched a $100 million fund to support Hollywood labourers put out of work by the coronavirus, deploying a safety net for thousands of people who work on film and TV productions.

The world’s largest paid streaming service said it will spend $85 million to support people working on its productions. Netflix pledged an additional $15 million to third parties, such as the Motion Picture and Television Fund and a disaster fund created by the largest US union for actors.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a labour union representing craftspeople in the entertainment industry, estimates 120,000 of its 150,000 members have lost work already.

Netflix spent about $15 billion on programming last year and planned to top that figure this year. But the streaming service has halted production of scripted programming in the US and Canada, and has shut down select productions around the world, including new seasons of ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘The Witcher’. The company has already pledged two weeks’ pay to people working on its suspended projects.

The federal government is considering a multitrillion-dollar bailout of companies and small businesses affected by the current health crisis but is still weighing which industries will receive financial support in the months ahead.

Adam Schiff, a Democratic congressman from Southern California, signed a letter calling for the government to support entertainment workers. Movie-theatre owners, with which Netflix has often clashed, have also asked for help.


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