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$2M Earmarked – The Hollywood Reporter


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As the ongoing writers strike continues to shut down film and television productions, major crew union IATSE is contributing $2 million in funds to aid members who are taking a financial hit.

The union’s general executive board has unanimously approved this contribution to be divided among three top industry charities — the Motion Picture & Television Fund, The Entertainment Community Fund and the Actors Fund of Canada — IATSE announced on Thursday. The donations are specifically designated for IATSE members in need; the over 168,000-member union represents a broad swath of crew members, from grips to sound editors to costumers.

“For those who are struggling, you are not alone, the 170,000 kin of our Alliance are with you, and help is available,” IATSE international president Matt Loeb said in a statement. “We trust these proven industry charities to deliver this much-needed support directly to IATSE members who need it most, and we will continue to explore all avenues to provide necessary assistance to our members as they weather the storm during the writers’ strike.”

Multiple charitable foundations and agencies have sprung into action since the writers’ strike began on May 2. The Entertainment Community Fund has so far raised over $2 million to support non-writers during the strike, while the Humanitas nonprofit has launched a “Groceries for Writers” initiative and The Inevitable Foundation has instituted an emergency fund for disabled writers.

As of Wednesday, Pay Up Hollywood had relaunched its fund to provide financial relief to support staff, originally created to allay the effects of COVID-19 work pauses, in order to help assistants and coordinators affected by the strike.

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IATSE took a similar step early in the COVID-19 pandemic, when it earmarked $2.5 million in donations to what was then called the Actors Fund (now the Entertainment Community Fund), the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund of Canada) for members whose work had been curtailed or canceled.

The Writers Guild of America and studios and streamers have not gone back to the bargaining table since the strike began in early May. Currently, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents entertainment employers in labor negotiations, is engaged in talks with SAG-AFTRA over its own contract, expiring June 30.

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