EXCLUSIVE: A solidarity relief fund that the Writers Guild and several of its prominent members set up to help non-members during the guild’s ongoing strike has now grown to more than $2.2 million and has already helped more than 400 industry members. The need fund is managed by the , formerly Actors Fund.
Recognizing that writers aren’t the only entertainment industry professionals affected by the strike, the fund was established May 10 with $1.7 million in donations from the guild and WGA members JJ Abrams, Greg Berlanti, Adam McKay , Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, Mike Schur and John Wells.
“The fund has received more than $2.2 million in donations in support of film and television professionals,” Joe Benincasa, president and CEO of the Entertainment Community Fund, told Deadline. “And we have helped more than 400 people with emergency financial assistance and referred them to our additional programs and services to help with areas of need, including health and wellness, career and life, housing and more.”
The WGA West, meanwhile, has a separate $20 million strike fund to help its own members during the strike. The WGA East also provides strike loans to its members.
The WGA strike, now entering its 25th day, began May 2 after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to produce an acceptable deal. The guild’s core issues include significant increases in compensation, minimum staffing, length of tenure, establishing viewer-based streaming residues, and curbing the use of artificial intelligence to create scripts.