Netflix have launched an unprecedentedly large charitable fund to help ease the struggle for the creative community that has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of March 20th, more than 246,774 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 10,062 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 150 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and North America. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy and Spain, the WHO have now stated that Europe was the current centre of the pandemic.
Ted Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer for Netflix confirmed their plans in a wide-ranging statement issued on Friday. “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,” he said in a statement.
“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. So we’ve created a $100 million fund to help with hardship in the creative community.”
According to The Wrap, Sarandos went on to explain that a large portion of the fund will go towards the workers who are specialising and focusing on Netflix’s own productions, a section of creatives who have been hit hard by the pandemic: “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.”
“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,” he added.
“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.”
Large portions of the fund has been carefully split into designated areas with $1 million each going to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance.
The Wrap also claims that $1 million will be split between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes and a whopping $15 million of the collective fund will be split and diverted to “third parties and nonprofits offering emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in countries where Netflix has a big production base.”