The Film, Television, and Streaming Industry Responds to COVID-19
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges for our nation’s public health and economy. The film, television, and streaming industry stands ready to assist efforts to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of our employees, our customers, and the public during this difficult time.
The Motion Picture Association and its member companies have taken a leading role in supporting the industry and its workforce through direct aid as well as through federal, state, and local advocacy:
Over a Billion Dollars to Hardship Relief Funds
Relief funds provide direct aid to studio employees, as well as relief to industry partners and unions to ensure a strong workforce is ready to return to work as soon as possible.
- MPA member studios Netflix and NBCUniversal have established hardship funds of $150 million each.
- MPA studio parent companies, including Comcast, Sony Corporation, ViacomCBS, and WarnerMedia, have established hundreds of millions of dollars in relief funds.
- Beyond MPA member companies, other industry groups have developed hardship funds, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Actors’ Equity Association, Directors Guild Foundation, Entertainment Industry Foundation, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Cinematographers Guild, National Association of Theatre Owners/Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, POV, Producers Guild of America, and SAG-AFTRA, as well as many celebrities who work in the industry.
Stay-At-Home Resources – Free of Charge
MPA members are providing resources to teachers and families who are self-distancing at home during this time.
- Disney partnered with the Khan Academy to launch Imagineering in a Box – a 32-course online curriculum showing kids how the company’s legendary Imagineers create immersive entertainment experiences.
- Netflix has a selection of documentary features and series available on the Netflix US YouTube channel to allow students and teachers easier access. Additionally, each title has educational resources available, including Q&As with some of the creators behind the projects.
- Paramount and ViacomCBS launched #AloneTogether and #KidsTogether offering news and information as well as free kid-focused entertainment and educational resources across all their platforms.
- Sony Pictures launched a YouTube Channel, Sony Pictures Kids Zone, providing parents and kids with a one stop central destination for interactive fun, physical movement, learning, and hands-on activities.
- Comcast NBCUniversal, through Xfinity, has educational programming available for free, organized by grade level for teachers and students.
- WarnerMedia has launched CNCheckIn through Cartoon Network. The program offers educational and entertainment programming to children for free.
- The Motion Picture Association is bringing its “Film School Friday” program online. The program will connect students with industry leaders and creators behind some of today’s biggest films and television shows.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Other Direct Aid
From critical PPE to storage for healthcare facilities, as well as direct donations to local communities, MPA members have provided available resources wherever possible.
- MPA member studios donated important PPE and direct aid to first responders and healthcare providers, including medical masks, gloves, respirator filters, ponchos, and other equipment from their medical-themed productions.
- Disney, NBCUniversal, Warner Brothers, and other studio properties are donating food to local food banks.
- Sony Pictures is providing warehouse space for manufacturers to store component parts for critical medical and first-responder protective equipment and donating 800 Sony Headphones for Communities in Schools to distribute to students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
- The broader creative community beyond MPA members has also been donating critical equipment, including IATSE’s Locals and Costume Designers Guild, which has been sewing protective masks and organizing and participating in film community drives to collect/donate PPEs.
Public Service Messaging
MPA member studios and others in the industry have lent their voices and resources to communicate critical public health messages during the pandemic. NBCUniversal, Disney, ViacomCBS, and WarnerMedia are running Public Service Ads in coordination with the Ad Council and the U.S. government. Numerous shows, networks, and individuals have contributed to PSAs, informational videos, online ads, and social posts on a range of issues related to the COVID-19 response, including social distancing, mental health, hygiene, and community spirit.
Continuing to Serve Audiences at Home
Lastly, as millions of people around the world remain isolated at home during this unprecedented situation, the film, television, and streaming industry has played an important role in keeping everyone entertained, inspired, and connected. The industry as a whole is making more content available online and on-demand, including changing distribution plans due to COVID-19 and related theater closures.