Exclusive: The Solidarity Assistance Fund set up by the Writers Guild and many of its prominent members to assist non-members during the union’s ongoing strike has grown to over $2.2 million and has already assisted more than 400 industry members. The Needs-Based Fund is managed by , formerly known as the Doers Fund.
The fund, aware that writers are not the entertainment industry professionals affected by the strike, began on May 10 with donations of $1.7 million from the union and WGA members JJ Abrams, Greg Berlanti, Adam McKay, Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, Mike Shore 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. “We have helped more than 400 people with emergency financial assistance and directed them to our additional programs and services to help with areas of need including health and wellness, job and life, housing and more.”
Meanwhile, the WGA West has a separate $20 million strike fund to help its members during the strike. WGA East offers strike loans to its members as well.
The WGA strike, now in its 25th day, began on May 2 after negotiations with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance failed to reach an acceptable deal. The union’s core issues include significant increases in compensation, minimum staff, tenure of hire, creation of scenes-based broadcast leftovers and limitations on the use of artificial intelligence to create scripts.