Comcast Pledges $100 Million to Fight Racism, Advance Social Justice

Comcast chairman/CEO Brian Roberts June 8 issued a letter decrying the civil unrest rocking the country since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.

Roberts said Comcast would pledge $100 million to fight for social justice and equality, which includes $75 million cash and $25 million in media spending.

“We know that Comcast alone can’t remedy this complex issue,” Roberts wrote. “But you have my commitment that our company will try to play an integral role in driving lasting reform. Together, we hope to help create a more equitable, just and inclusive society.”

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Specifically, Roberts said the media giant would partner with, and provide significant grants to, organizations working to eradicate injustice and inequity. Organizations will include but not be limited to: the National Urban League, the Equal Justice Initiative, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Action Network and the Community Justice Action Fund.

Roberts said Comcast would put the “full weight” of its media resources behind highlighting black voices and black stories and educating viewers on diverse and inclusive cultures, perspectives and experiences, by making anti-racism education and inequality awareness a priority.

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“We will use our platforms across the organization to continue to shed light on societal issues related to race,” Roberts wrote. “NBC News will host a series of Town Halls, similar to their ‘Can You Hear Us Now’ special that aired this past Tuesday, and we will use the X1, Flex, Peacock and Sky platforms to promote and amplify multicultural content.”

SAG-AFTRA Approves Historic Deal with Netflix

Netflix is one of the world’s largest producers of movies and TV shows. As a subscription streaming video distributor, how the service’s productions fit into the traditional Hollywood labor equation sometimes left more questions than answers.

Now, SAG-AFTRA, the union representing film and television actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists, singers, voice actors and other media professionals, has approved a contract with Netflix covering all live-action productions.

The first-of-its-kind deal between the union and SVOD pioneer recognizes “motion capture” technology as covered work and includes coverage of dubbing, which applies to Netflix’s foreign-language live-action and animated motion pictures dubbed into English.

“Netflix recognizes the value of working with SAG-AFTRA members, and the contributions we make in this global industry,” Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA president, said in a statement. “I am gratified that this groundbreaking deal achieved longstanding member goals in particular the recognition of performance capture work, and other important improvements that members want and deserve.”

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Netflix, which has operated under the union’s standard labor agreement, also follows its own “Respect at Netflix” work program that put an emphasis on gender, race and sexual orientation equality in the workplace and on movie and TV show productions.

The new agreement with SAG-AFTRA sets minimum salary and turnaround provisions to all Netflix programs; concessions for consecutive employment for guest stars and day performers employed on episodic series; how to pay residuals for movies produced under the union’s theatrical contract that are exhibited on Netflix.

In addition, stunt performers will no longer have adjustments made in determining eligibility for overtime for episodic productions. The deal also puts new limitations on advancing pay residuals.

“We are pleased that we were able to work with SAG-AFTRA to address these issues unique to Netflix’s production needs and we commend SAG-AFTRA leadership for its creative approach,” added Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.