March 20, 2020
Netflix has taken another proactive step during the growing global coronavirus pandemic. The SVOD pioneer March 20 disclosed it is creating a $100 million relief fund for people in the entertainment business waylaid by the epidemic.
CCO Ted Sarandos, in a blog post, said $15 million would go to third parties and nonprofits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew, cast, electricians, carpenters and drivers — many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis — in the countries where Netflix has large production facilities.
“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.” Sarandos wrote. “So we’ve created a $100 million fund to help with hardship in the creative community.”
He said most of the monies will go toward support for the hardest hit workers on its own productions. This is in addition to the two weeks pay Netflix has already committed to the crew and cast on productions forced into suspension last week.
“We’re in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production,” Sarandos wrote.
Netflix is also donating $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the U.S., and $1 million between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes.
In other regions, including Europe, Latin America and Asia where it has a big production presence, the streamer is 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,” Sarandos wrote.
Netflix earlier this week announced it would limit content streaming to standard definition throughout Europe in an effort to reduce by 25% streaming data bit demandsNetflix from local broadband networks.