The coronavirus pandemic has severely hit the below-the-line entertainment industry jobs — those who work in the technical and physical aspects of movie and TV-making. An estimated 120,000 below-the-line entertainment industry jobs due to the impact of the fast-spreading coronavirus, aka COVID-19.
Variety reports that about 120,000 below-the-line entertainment industry workers have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis, which represents about about 80% of the 150,000 members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, according to the IATSE.
The leaders of the International Cinematographers Guild, which has about 9,000 members, disclosed the IATSE estimate in a newsletter to their members, which painted a bleak outlook for the immediate future:
“By the time you have finished reading this weekly, the circumstances we find ourselves in will have already changed. We are writing to tell you what we know at this moment and what we are working on at your local as our industry joins the world in shutting down and workers and their families are left wondering about their futures. The IATSE reports that the pandemic shutdown has resulted in the loss of 120,000 jobs held by its 150,000 members. It is critical that our industry be included in pending federal relief package.
Although some of our members are being paid for up to two weeks after their shows shut down, based upon the reality of the health care crisis we now face, it is highly unlikely that productions will resume after so short a period of time. This problem is likely to continue for months, not weeks, and our concerns about health, benefits and economic stability are shared by the entire membership. Your health and safety and the well-being of your families are paramount to us.”
ICG national president John Lindley, national executive director Rebecca Rhine, and 10 other officers and executives said that they plan to meet with the labor and management trustees of the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan to look for methods to help their members.
This latest report shows just how badly Hollywood is being hit by the coronavirus crisis, from below-the-line workers to major studios and movie theater chains. With no end in sight for the coronavirus pandemic, Hollywood could be drastically changed as the year wears on.
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