Entertainment Community Fund Offers Financial Assistance to 400 Non-Authors – Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: A solidarity fund set up by the Writers Guild and several of its prominent members to help non-members during the guild’s ongoing strike has now grown to over $2.2 million and has already helped more than 400 industry members. The Needs Fund is administered by the Actors Fund, formerly known as the Actors Fund.
The fund, which recognizes that writers are not the only entertainment industry professionals hit by the strike, was launched May 10 with donations of $1.7 million from Guild and WGA members JJ Abrams, Greg Berlanti, Adam McKay, Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, Mike Schur and John Wells.
“The fund has received more than $2.2 million in donations to support film and television professionals,” Joe Benincasa, President and CEO of the Entertainment Community Fund, told Deadline. “And we’ve helped more than 400 people with emergency financial needs, directing them to our additional programs and services to help in areas of need, including health and wellbeing, careers and life, housing and more.”
The WGA West, meanwhile, has a separate $20 million strike fund to support its own members during the strike. The WGA East also provides strike loans to its members.
The WGA strike, now in its 25th day, began on May 2 after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to reach an acceptable agreement. The core issues of the guild include significant increases in compensation, minimum staffing, tenure, the establishment of viewer-based streaming residuals, and limiting the use of artificial intelligence to create screenplays.