With hundreds of productions having postponed filming due to ongoing attempts at eliminating the spread of the virus, many in the film and television community have found themselves out of work.
In response, Netflix has launched a fund where the majority of the money will go to those affected by the collapse of Netflix’s own productions as the crisis escalates.
They’ve also agreed to pay two weeks worth of worker’s wages and offered $15m to various charitable organisations that are offering support to out of work cast and crew members.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’ chief content officer, said: “The Covid-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community. 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.”
He continued: “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.”
Earlier this week (March 18) the EU asked Netflix and other streaming platforms to stop showing video in high definition in a bid to minimise the strain on internet bandwidth as the world isolates during the coronavirus pandemic.
European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who is responsible for the EU internal market covering more than 450 million people, announced on Wednesday via Twitter that he had spoken to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. He called on people and companies to “#SwitchtoStandard definition when HD is not necessary” in order to secure internet access for all.
Breton said in a statement that all streaming platforms, telecom operators and users have “joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation.”
“Commissioner Breton is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the internet continues to run smoothly during this critical time,” the Netflix spokesperson told the outlet. “We’ve been focused on network efficiency for many years, including providing our open connect service for free to telecommunications companies.”