Netflix set up $US100m virus relief fund

Netflix is setting up a $US100 million coronavirus relief fund.
Netflix is setting up a $US100 million coronavirus relief fund.

Netflix is establishing a $US100 million relief fund for workers in the worldwide creative community affected by the coronavirus-caused stoppage of most film and television production.

"This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide," Netflix's chief creative officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

The majority of the fund will support hard-hit crews on Netflix's own productions around the world and will supplement the two weeks of pay the company already agreed to pay the cast and crew on suspended productions.

Electricians, carpenters and drivers, who largely are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis, are among the hundreds of thousands in the entertainment industry without jobs, he said.

More than 120,000 jobs have been lost by members of IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees that represents cinematographers, editors, production designers and others.

In an effort to support the broader film and television industry, $US15 million of the Netflix fund will be distributed to third parties and nonprofits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where it has a large production base.

Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus have left the entertainment industry reeling, with the suspension of most productions, closures of movie theatres and plays and concert postponements.

With many people housebound by choice or government restrictions, streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have been a bright spot for the industry as well as consumers.

Australian Associated Press