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Grassroots Efforts Help Unemployed Entertainment Industry Workers Through Coronavirus Crisis

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Hollywood is banding together to help those in the industry that are out of work during the coronavirus pandemic as complete production shutdown goes into its second month.

"Even if the lockdown is going to end in May or June, Hollywood still needs to figure out how, or even if, they can continue filming under special safety production that would allow for social distancing and I've been told it's still a very long process," said Jeremy Fuster, a film reporter for The Wrap.

"Netflix has said since the start of the lockdown that they have a lot of projects in post-production for all of their services nationwide. At some point, production would have to resume to give those post-production houses some new projects to work on," he said.

Fuster said grassroots efforts are doing a lot of work to support those in Hollywood who need it most.

"The Hollywood unions and studios have worked together to donate millions of dollars to mutual aid funds and to relief funds, particularly the main one is the actor fund. That is a fund that has received millions and millions of dollars from unions and studios and while its called actors funds it can be applied to by anyone who works in Hollywood and has been laid off by the COVID crisis," Fuster said.

Because many industry jobs are project-based and can run on various timelines, it can sometimes be difficult for those out of work to qualify for unemployment benefits.

"The good news is that there's been a lot of work by Southern California government officials to make sure there are provisions to allow Hollywood workers to apply for unemployment despite the unique nature of their jobs," said Fuster.

By some estimate, more than 200,000 actors and crew members are out of work during the pandemic. Fuster said he expects the shutdown will last at least another two to three months.

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