IATSE’s general executive board has unanimously approved $2 million to be distributed to the union’s members who are in need of financial assistance due to the Writers Guild strike, which is in its 39th day.
The financial aid will be distributed by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the (formerly The Actors Fund) and the Actors Fund of Canada.
“For those who are struggling, you are not alone: the 170,000 kin of our Alliance are with you, and help is available,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. “We trust these proven industry charities to deliver this much-needed support directly to IATSE members who need it most, and we will continue to explore all avenues to provide necessary assistance to our members as they weather the storm during the writers’ strike.”
IATSE established a similar $2.5 million fund to help members who lost work during the early days of the Covid pandemic.
Hollywood’s charities already have been helping industry members impacted by the strike, and the $2 million infusion from IATSE will allow them to assist even more workers in need.
The Entertainment Community Fund has provided financial assistance to hundreds of industry workers affected by the writers strike. Recognizing that WGA members aren’t the only industry workers affected, the WGA and several of its prominent members – including J.J. Abrams, Greg Berlanti, Adam McKay, Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, Mike Schur and John Wells – donated $1.7 million to the Fund back on May 10 to help out non-WGA members during the strike.
The EIC is also collaborating with Women in Film and #PayUpHollywood to provide onetime grants to assistants and support staff who have less than three years of industry experience and have lost employment due to the strike.
The MPTF, meanwhile, reports that it has seen a “significant spike” in requests for financial assistance from industry workers during the strike.
And the WGA West has its own $20 million strike fund to provide loans or grants to members “adversely affected by a strike,” while the WGA East also has a strike fund to help its members during the strike.