ViacomCBS has launched a $100 million relief fun to support actors, filmmakers and crew members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an exclusive report by Variety. The pandemic has caused multiple productions to shut down, leaving multiple employees of the entertainment industry without work.
The funds will also aid grants by the Motion Picture and Television Fund and The Actors Fund, along with other charitable organizations.
“One particularly challenging area in this period has been production, as we’ve unfortunately had to pause most of our TV and film productions to protect the health and safety of our cast, crew and communities,” Bob Bakish, chief executive officer and president, ViacomCBS, said in a message to staff, according to Variety. “This, in turn, has put at risk the livelihoods of our colleagues who help bring these stories to life.”
Along with this fund, ViacomCBS has announced it will launch an employee matching gifts program in the U.S. and the U.K. Since the announcement, it has expanded the program to other regions. ViacomCBS will match up to $1,000 per year of charitable contributions from full-time employees at the vice president level and below, a push to encourage companywide participation.
“In these uncertain times, giving back and supporting the well-being of our families, communities and ourselves is more important than ever,” Bakish wrote. “And I couldn’t be prouder of how our company has come together to provide relief and support to those who need it.”
In addition to ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia has pledged $100 million; Comcast has committed $500 million; and Sony has launched a $100-million fund.