Variety warns that 120 000 jobs in the entertainment industry have already been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This number comes from the recent weekly newsletter by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). If true, that would mean that approximately 80% of IATSE’s 150,000 members just lost their jobs. Leaders of the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) warn that, while employees will receive payments for two or three weeks after the shutdown, this health crisis will last for months. The leaders are currently arranging a way for the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan to help participants.
Meanwhile, John Fithian, CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) keeps urging lawmakers to back the loans movie theaters need to remain solvent. Variety quotes him saying “Overnight, we went from an industry that makes $15 billion a year — $11 billion in ticket sales and $4 billion in concessions — to one that is not going to make a penny for three or four months.”
First emergency measures are already initiated. On Thursday, Alamo Drafthouse announced a $2 million emergency fund for its workers furloughed after the cinema chain closed due to the quarantine measures. A day later, Netflix announced it is setting up a $100 million relief fund for its production staff. Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer of Netflix wrote: “Most of the fund will go towards support for the hardest-hit workers on our productions around the world.”