Netflix announces $100M relief fund after TV and film production halted

When it comes to the entertainment industry, the COVID-19 outbreak isn’t just affecting movie theaters — it has also halted TV and film production around the world. For Netflix, that has included production on high-profile titles like “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things.”

So the streaming company just announced that it has created a $100 million fund that it says will support the cast and crew who have suddenly found themselves out of work.

In the announcement, Netflix Chief Creative Ted Sarandos said that there are now “hundreds of thousands of cast and crew without jobs,” including “electricians, carpenters and drivers, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis.”

He said that most of this money will go to “the hardest hit workers on our own productions around the world” — though it sounds like the company is still figuring out exactly what form that support will take. (Sarandos noted that Netflix is already providing two weeks’ pay to the productions suspended last week.)

In addition, Sarandos said $15 million will go 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.”

In the United States, that includes $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance. In Canada, that includes $1 million that will be split between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes. Elsewhere, Sarandos said Netflix is “working with existing industry organizations to create similar creative community emergency relief efforts.”