The ongoing strikes in Hollywood are affecting more than actors and writers. Essential crewmembers are also out of work but without the fanfare. A trio of big-name Hollywood players said on Friday they were stepping up to provide aid.
American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy kicked pledged $500,000 to the Ryan Murphy Productions Assistance Fund, which will support any current or former crewmembers from any of his shows. Greg Berlanti, the man behind all of the CW DC shows, donated $800,000 to current and former employees. Director Paul Feig pledged $100,000 to The Motion and Picture Television Fund and encouraged others to follow suit.
“We have seen firsthand on sets the persistence, talent, and endurance of our (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) colleagues, so it’s imperative we do our part to ensure they get on the other side of this work stoppage,” said Feig, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The donations help mitigate the pain caused by the work stoppage, which is the second-longest strike in Writers Guild of America history. The Screen Actors Guild took to the picket lines in July, bringing more productions to a standstill. With Hollywood shut down until further notice, the MPTF said tens of thousands of crewmembers are facing significant financial burdens when many are still recovering from the halt in production during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Murphy, Berlanti and Feig aren’t the only ones to support the affected crew members. Yesterday, Marta Kauffman, Paula McCrane, and Paul Scheer said they’re partnering with the Union Solidarity Coalition to host The Give Back-ular Spectacular benefit at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles on October 25. The benefit will live stream comedy and musical performances by soon-to-be-revealed talents as a show of solidarity across the industry.
The two-hour live fundraiser will raise money and awareness for the “entire community of artists, craftspeople, technicians, production assistants, and support staff,” according to the campaign’s donation page. Contributions will help IATSE members, Teamsters, Laborers’ International Union of North America, and other entertainment industry talents ease the financial burden as well as cover COBRA and healthcare premiums.
“Together, we will navigate through this chapter, and before long, we’ll once again create, inspire, and innovate within the industry we love,” Murphy posted on Instagram.