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Netflix creates $100m support fund

Netflix has created a US$100m emergency support fund for workers in the creative community affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Ted Sarandos

Almost all TV and film production has now ceased globally, leaving hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs, as the world attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The global streamer said it wanted to help those involved in TV and film production, with most of the fund going towards support for the hardest-hit workers on its own productions around the world, which have had to grind to a halt.

Netflix pointed out that many of those involved in the productions include electricians, carpenters, drivers, and hair and makeup artists, 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,” said Ted Sarandos, the streamer’s chief content officer.

“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.”

Netflix is also supporting the broader film and TV industry by allocating US$15m of the fund to third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work cast and crew in the countries where it has a large production base.

Netflix will be donating US$1m each to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US, and US$1m between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes.

In other regions where Netflix has a large production presence, including Europe, Latin America and Asia, the company said it was working with existing industry organisations to create similar creative community emergency relief efforts. Details of donations to groups in other countries will be announced this week.

“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,” Sarandos added.

Last week the streaming giant agreed to limit its streaming quality across Europe to restrict the amount of bandwidth users are taking up while on lockdown.

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