Netflix Donates £1 Million To Coronavirus Relief Fund For Film And TV Freelance Workers

Every little helps.

Netflix donates to relief fund for film and TV workers

by Hanna Flint |
Updated on

Netflix UK has donated £1.02 million ($1.2 million) to a relief fund to help freelance workers in the film and television industry.

The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund was set up by The Film and TV Charity, with the support of the British Film Institute, in order to help UK creatives adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Film and TV productions across the country have been shut down because of the global pandemic and as the majority of people working in the industry do so on a freelance basis, they no longer have an income coming in.

‘We’re proud to be working with the BFI and The Film and TV Charity to support the hardest-hit workers in TV and film production,’ said Anne Mensah, VP of Original Series at Netflix.

‘From electricians to carpenters, hair and make-up artists to drivers – and many more, UK crews have always been vital to Netflix’s success and now we want to help those freelancers who most need support in these unprecedented times.’

The Film and TV Charity is currently devising eligibility criteria in order to administer the fund to freelancers who work in the fields of production, distribution and exhibition.

Although it can only offer short-term relief, it will greatly help many of the freelancers who have lost work and will continue to lose work now a lockdown is in effect.

‘The film and TV industry is now facing a huge threat,’ Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film and TV Charity, said. ‘Many freelancers have seen their livelihoods disappear overnight. We’re entering a period of unprecedented isolation and worry for a workforce that we know from our research already suffers from poor mental health.'

A recent survey, conducted by entertainment union Bectu before the government had begun its social-distancing campaign, revealed that almost half of freelance respondents had reduced income because of the health crisis.

Netflix’s donation comes from a $100 million fund set up to help productions around the world. The streaming service has also committed to paying its cast and crew two weeks pay on productions that have been suspended.

The Arts Council England is also making, ‘£20 million of financial support available to individuals, so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months.’

The Government has yet to unveil sufficient support to its self-employed workforce despite committing to paying 80% of an employed workers’ income.

READ MORE: The Government Is Accused Of Discriminating Against Self-Employed Workers

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