Netflix, WarnerMedia and Sony have each ponied up $100 million to help out-of-work crewmembers, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, most of the industry’s funding efforts have been directed toward medical first responders.
“The response has been slow from Hollywood billionaires, and that silence from them in many ways mirrors the silence and slowness that we are seeing from other types of billionaires in the country,” says The Chronicle of Philanthropy staff writer Maria Di Mento, who tracks donations in excess of $1 million. “But the stock market has been insanely rocky with deep, deep plunges. And so if they are bottom-line types, which unfortunately I think a lot of them might be, and if they have gotten hit, they might be focused on that right now, which is unfortunate.”
Some of the biggest contributions have come from Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively contributed seven figures to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. Six-figure givers include Bob Iger, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg each donated $500,000 to a government fund to help those in need in L.A. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' family gave $5 million to buy Philadelphia students laptops for remote learning amid the crisis.
An anonymous producer tells THR: “Isn't this the time you actively say, 'We're going to do the right thing to sustain the livelihoods of the people who work for you?' If you have a hundred, $200, $300, $400 million, why don't you actively contribute to the funds that are helping below-the-line people who made those movies and made you rich? This is Hollywood's Bernie Sanders question to me.”
Meanwhile, the fallout continues at the box office remains closed. By April 3rd, all major tentpoles were moved from the summer, and THR warns that if the shutdown continues for much longer, domestic grosses for the year will struggle to hit $7 billion, a 20+ year low.
Broadway is also hurting. The historic shutdown has been extended through June 7th, the longest in history by far. The original re-open date had been April 13th.
“Our top priority continues to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals.” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, in a statement. “Broadway will always be at the very heart of the Big Apple, and we join with artists, theatre professionals, and fans in looking forward to the time when we can once again experience live theatre together.”