Grips, camera operators, makeup artists and other crew members who’ve lost their jobs because of production shutdowns during the writers’ strike are getting some help.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which represents film set crew members, will donate $2 million to charities to support its members during the ongoing writers strike, which began May 2.
IATSE said that the funds have been specifically earmarked for the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly the Actors’ Fund) and the Actors Fund of Canada (AFC).
“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 Matthew D. Loeb said in a statement. “We will continue to explore all avenues to provide necessary assistance to our members as they weather the storm during the writers’ strike.”
Film and TV productions across the country have been shut down as a result of the strike leaving many other workers in the industry struggling to make ends meet.
The writers’ walkout has been supported by other industry unions including IATSE, whose members have refused to cross picket lines.
In Los Angeles County, scripted TV production has halted completely, with no scripted shows set to film this week, according to FilmLA, which organizes film permits for the region.
Alongside union members, non-union film and TV workers have also been hit hard by the work stoppages.
The advocacy group #PayUpHollywood , in collaboration with the Entertainment Community Fund and WIF (Women in Film), relaunched The Hollywood Support Staff Relief Fund this week to aid support staff on film and TV shows.
The fund, led by Writers Guild of America West board member Liz Hsiao Lan Alper and support staffer Alex Rubin, will offer one-time grants to assistants and support staff with less than three years of industry expertise who have lost work due to strikes.
WIF donated $10,000 to the fund, which was originally created in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Then, it was able to provide more than $500,000 in aid to assistants and other support staff .
“These workers are the most heavily impacted when unexpected events shut down the entertainment industry,” Alper said. “Making the Hollywood Support Staff Relief Fund a permanent emergency fund gives these workers a much-needed resource that wasn’t available before.”
The WGA has its own fund to assist writers during the strike. As of March 2022, the WGA West had collected around $20 million in strike funds, according to its most recent annual report.