exclusive: The Solidarity Aid Fund established by the Writers Guild and several of its prominent members to help non-members during the Guild’s ongoing strike has grown to more than $2.2 million and has helped more than 400 industry members. The needs-based fund is administered by the former Actors Fund.
Recognizing that writers are not the only entertainment industry professionals affected by the strike, the fund launched on May 10 with a $1.7 million contribution from the association and work group 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 to support film and television professionals,” Joe Benincasa, president and CEO of the Entertainment Community Fund, told Deadline. “And, we’ve helped more than 400 people through emergency financial assistance and directing them to our additional programs and services to help address areas of need, including health and wellness, careers and living, housing and more.”
Meanwhile, WGA West has a separate $20 million strike fund to help its members during the strike. WGA East also offers strike loans to its members.
this WGA strike, which is now its 25th day, began on May 2 after negotiations with a coalition of film and television producers failed to produce an acceptable deal. Among the guild’s core issues are substantial increases in pay, minimum staffing, employment terms, establishing audience-based streaming residuals, and limiting the use of artificial intelligence to create scripts.