As the entertainment world at large has hunkered down out of concern for coronavirus, Netflix has stepped up to help those affected. The streaming giant pledged $100 million in funds on Friday to help its casts and crews who've productions have been delayed to help slow the virus' spread.
"Most of the fund will go towards support for the hardest-hit workers on our own productions around the world," the statement read, according to TMZ. "We're in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production. This is in addition to the two weeks' pay we've already committed to the crew and cast on productions we were forced to suspend last week. What's happening is unprecedented. We are only as strong as the people we work with and Netflix is fortunate to be able to help those hardest hit in our industry through this challenging time."
Netflix initially halted all its original productions that film in the U.S. and Canada last week in response to coronavirus, which could affect the release dates of Stranger Things Season 4, Grace and Frankie and the Queer Eye revival, which was recently renewed for its sixth season, and also just started filming in Texas. News has become increasingly common as a number of major productions have temporarily pulled the plug.
Prior to Netflix suspending production, it had locked down its Los Angeles offices after an employee was confirmed to have COVID-19, who was also identified as having come in close contact with people.
Earlier on Friday, the streaming service had also announced its plan to slow down its streaming speeds in order to reduce strain on the internet while everyone's home in self-quarantine and, well, streaming. A lot.0comments
"Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings -- and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus -- Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days," Netflix said in another statement. "We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members."
There are more than 15,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., with 201 deaths as of Friday, according to the latest data from The CDC. To learn more about what can be done to help slow the spread, you can check out their prevention tips here.