The people that get all of the attention in Hollywood are high-paid actors, producers, directors, composers, and screenwriters. But, in reality, films are made by hundreds of people, many of whom are known as "below the line" employees.
These workers aren't usually salaried and jump from production to production like any other journeyman.
They are highly-skilled, some are union, but they are working people just like those in any other industry. So the work stoppage in entertainment will affect them tremendously.
Hollywood's Teamsters have been hard hit by the work stoppage, but some of them are finding work in an industry that's booming because of the crisis, the food and beverage industry.
“Only Matter Of Days Before The Town Shuts Down," Says #Hollywood Teamsters' Chief #SteveDayan https://t.co/vGAgYatVQi pic.twitter.com/9lP3iD3cAM
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"As you have seen, the demand for food, goods and supplies is overwhelming at this time," Hollywood's Teamsters Local 399 said in a statement. "These Teamster jobs are considered to be part of the current essential workforce, and we encourage our members to take this opportunity if you are in need of immediate employment."
Netflix is making an incredibly generous effort to help those affected by the work stoppage. The streaming service will give $100 million to the out-of-work production community.
"Most of the fund will go towards support for the hardest hit workers on our own productions around the world," wrote Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, on the Netflix Company blog.
"We're in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production. This is in addition to the two weeks pay we've already committed to the crew and cast on productions we were forced to suspend last week."
Ted Sarandos,via Daniel Benavides / Flickr
The streaming service isn't just using the money to help those that work for the company. It's dedicating $15 million to "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."
That pledge will include $1 million to the SAG-AFTRA Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US, and $1 million between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes.
Netflix's pledge of $100 million is incredibly generous. But it's also an indicator of just how successful the company has become. The streaming video company added 9.6 million paid subscribers in the first three months of this year and now has 149 million subscribers worldwide.
The news that Netflix is looking out for working people is great to hear at a time when many of us having nothing to do but Netflix and chill.
"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 concluded the blog.
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