How you can help support charities for entertainment workers struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has left millions of workers across countless industries jobless, and Hollywood is no different.
From the movie theaters that have shuttered to the crew members, day players, and assistants (many of whom are hourly employees) that work on your favorite television series and films, the industry has been left reeling.
Luckily, several companies and individuals have stepped up to help out. Here, EW rounded up a list of some of the organizations who are providing aid to entertainment professionals in need of aid, and how you can help.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced on March 20 that the streamer created a $100 million relief fund for the hundreds of thousands of people suddenly without jobs. The majority of the funds will go to impacted workers on Netflix's own projects, but Sarandos says $15 million "will go to third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base." Learn more at Netflix's company blog.
Recording Academy MusiCares
The Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammy Awards, has established through its MusiCares charitable foundation a COVID-19 Relief Fund in order to "to help our peers in the music community affected by the coronavirus pandemic." To learn more and to donate, go to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund website.
The live entertainment company said on March 31 that it was creating Crew Nation, a global relief fund for live music crews. "Concerts wouldn’t be possible without the crew working behind the scenes to bring them to life," Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino wrote on his Instagram. "To help out live music crews while concerts are on pause, Live Nation has committed $10 million to the Crew Nation fund: $5 million up front + matching the next $5 million donated dollar for dollar." Rapino also said his family will be donating an additional $250,000. Those who wish to donate to Crew Nation can do so here via PayPal.
Hollywood Support Staff COVID-19 Relief Fund
The fund, which was created by #PayUpHollywood, Scriptnotes Podcast, Junior Hollywood Radio & Television Society, and YEA!, aims to assist LA-based support staffers affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns. Showrunners such as Shonda Rhimes, Greg Berlanti, Julie Plec, David Benioff, Damon Lindelof, Lisa Joy, and Jonah Nolan have pledged donations to the fund. Learn more and donate at the fund's GoFundMe page.
This charitable arm of the entertainment guild SAG-AFTRA has partnered with the SAG-AFTRA Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund to create a COVID-19 relief fund. The fund "covers members who are in an emergency financial crisis related to COVID-19 to cover basic expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, medical bills, and other essential needs," according to a statement. Donations can be made through SAG-AFTRA Foundation's website.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a labor guild that represents over 140,000 technicians, artisans, and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, has approved $2.5 million in donations to be given to three entertainment charities: The Actors Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund, and the Actors Fund of Canada. You can donate to the MPTF here, The Actors Fund here, and the Actors Fund of Canada here.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
The organizations banded together to create the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which "is helping entertainment professionals meet coronavirus-related expenses and other challenges brought about by the evolving pandemic." The fund, which seeks to provide health care, financial assistance, and counseling, is open to anyone in the performing arts or entertainment industries. Broadway Cares pledged an initial $250,000 to the fund, with numerous producers — Spencer Ross, Rebecca Gold Milikowsky, Elizabeth Armstrong, Bill Damaschke, Diana DiMenna, Marc Platt, Daryl Roth, Jordan Roth, Scott Rudin, Jeffrey Seller, Jana Shea, Iris Smith, David Stone, and Barbara Whitman, to name a few — also donating to the cause. You can learn more or donate here.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
AMPAS, a.k.a. the organization behind the Oscars, announced on April 3 that it would be donating $6 million to "help support motion picture employees and their families facing severe financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with institutions focused on supporting diverse filmmakers." Similar to IATSE's donation, the funds will be split up equally between The Actors Fund, MPTF, and the Academy's own Grants Program.
For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.