The impact coronavirus has had on the health of individual Americans is increasing by the day, as the pandemic of COVID-19 spreads across the globe and more people are tested and confirmed to have the respiratory virus. But the economic impact of limiting its spread has been far wider, impacting a number of industries and creating a tenuous global economy that’s as uncertain as ever.
While employees in the hospitality industry and others face layoffs and unemployment as businesses close, one industry that’s also been impacted is the film and TV industry. Netflix, which controls a large part of that industry, has apparently set up a fund to help employees who may be out of work because it ceased filming on a variety of projects amid the effort to practice social distancing and flatten the curve to limit COVID-19’s spread.
According to The Guardian, Netflix will put aside $100 million to help provide relief for employees who cannot work while film and TV productions associated with the streaming service remains shut down.
“The Covid-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community,” Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer, said in a statement. “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.”
As well as the announced fund, Netflix had already agreed to pay workers two weeks’ worth of wages.
The company will also offer $15m to not-for-profits that offer emergency relief to out-of-work cast and crew members in countries where they have major productions.
It’s estimated that more than 120,000 people in the creative entertainment industry have had their jobs impacted by shutdowns like this worldwide. As The Guardian notes, much of that fund will go to employees that have been put out of work by Netflix’s shutdown, the paper picking Season 2 of The Witcher to highlight as it’s one of the most popular shows on the streaming platform. It’s a good gesture from a business that hopes to be up and running and employing those same people when life can begin to return to normal. Not every major company has taken similar strides to help their most vulnerable employees find economic support in what’s an undoubtedly difficult time,