EXCLUSIVE: A solidarity assistance fund that the Writers Guild and several of its prominent members established to help non-members during the guild’s ongoing strike has now grown to over $2.2 million and has already helped more than 400 industry members. The needs-based fund is administered by the , formerly known as the Actors Fund.
The fund, which recognizes that writers aren’t the only entertainment industry professionals impacted by the strike, was started May 10 with $1.7 million in donations from the guild and WGA members J.J. 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’ve helped more than 400 people with emergency financial assistance and have directed 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 walkout. The WGA East provides strike loans to its members, as well.
The WGA strike, which is now in its 25th day, began May 2 after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to reach an acceptable deal. The guild’s core issues include significant increases in compensation, minimum staffing, duration of employment, the establishment of viewer-based streaming residuals and curbs on the use of artificial intelligence to create scripts.