The streaming giant Netflix has been hard hit by the Coronavirus, having stopped production on almost all aspects of its upcoming shows and pushing back the release dates for finished shows indefinitely. The crews working on these productions were the hardest hit by the stoppage of all work. Keeping their well-being in mind, Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement that Netflix will be creating a 100 million dollar aid fund for the entertainment industry's out-of-work crews.
"The COVID-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community. Almost all television and film production has now ceased globally - leaving hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs. These include electricians, carpenters and drivers, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis. 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."
The news will be a welcome one for industry workers, who have had to deal with a complete shutting down of work and a consequent dwindling of income necessary to stock rations and maintain homes for the long periods of self-quarantine that governments around the world are pushing for to combat the Coronavirus.
Sarandos further explained that most of the funds from the aid money will be directed towards the crews of Netflix's own productions.
"We're in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production. This is in addition to the two weeks pay we've already committed to the crew and cast on productions we were forced to suspend last week."
There will also be 15 million dollars from the fund earmarked for third parties and non-profits which are engaged in providing emergency relief to crews and cast in other countries with big Netflix production bases. Finally, 1 million dollars will go to the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and The Actors Fund Emergency Assistance, with another 1 million split between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes.
Netflix has been praised for working towards alleviating the plight of their production crews currently facing dire unemployment. It is being predicted that the isolation practices being forced on the global population will result in big gains for online streaming, as theater chains shut down one after another, and more and more new releases are being made available online within weeks of their theater release. Sarandos also had words of support for Netflix employees outside America.
"In other regions, including Europe, Latin America and Asia where we have a big production presence, we are working with existing industry organizations to create similar creative community emergency relief efforts. What's happening is unprecedented. 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."
This news comes direct from Variety.