The coronavirus is hitting not only the healthcare system but the economy as well, and the entertainment industry appears to be one of the hardest hit so far. While waiting for the pandemic to advance, it is estimated that the sector will lose around 120,000 jobs in the United States, its main market.
According to Variety, that figure represents approximately 80% of workers of the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees (IATSE), the majority union of technicians, operators and artisans in the entertainment industry, including those who work in live theater, film and television production, which has issued a statement warning of the seriousness of their situation. “The confinement of the pandemic triggers the loss of 120,000 jobs for our 150,000 members. It is essential that our industry be included in the pending federal aid package,” claims the association.
“Although some of our members are paid up to two weeks after the closing of their shows, due to the health crisis we are facing now it is very unlikely that productions will resume in the short term,” laments the institution.
“This problem is likely to continue for months, not weeks, and our concerns about health, benefits, and economic stability are shared by all of our members. The health, safety, and well-being of their families is paramount to us,” he added.
The publication also provides specific data on some companies such as ViacomCBS, whose actions have suffered their biggest collapse since 2010. Variety also mentions other projects, such as the theme parks operated by Disney and NBCUniversal, which have been closed regardless of their staff, or the 50 employees of the SXSW film festival, also canceled.
With the closing of movie theaters in major US cities like Los Angeles and New York, as well as abroad, even more jobs are in jeopardy. The weekend box office in North America plummeted to $ 55 million, its lowest gross since September 2000.
While the main representation agencies, management companies, public relations firms and film and television studios have installed telework and some series are trying to reunite their writers in a virtual way, the personal support staff in these productions has been run out of options until filming resumes.
Something similar is happening in the United Kingdom, where a study by the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theater union (Bectu) points out that “almost half of the UK film and television freelancers have lost their sources of income due to the coronavirus “