As we discussed last week on FilmWeek, entertainment industry professionals are among the hardest hit amid the stoppage of everyday work and life due to COVID-19. Whether you’re on camera or stage, or behind it, above the line or below it, production shutdowns mean that industry professionals who already rely on sporadic work as it’s available are left with few to no options for sustainable income.
Last week, Congressman Adam Schiff and other members of Congress who represent areas with large constituencies that work in the entertainment industry sent a letter to House leaders asking them to provide relief for both freelance and contract entertainment industry workers. “The unique freelance nature of work in film, television, theater, and live music means that a large number of the professionals who make these productions possible work only sporadically—often with extended periods between paying jobs—and count on income from each project to make ends meet,” the letter said in part. “As a result, many of them can’t qualify for traditional unemployment benefits or paid emergency leave, yet will now be unable to cover their basic expenses due to lost work.”
Today on AirTalk, Congressman Schiff joins us to talk about what relief both freelance and contract entertainment industry professionals can expect if the House passes the stimulus package that would provide financial aid to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adam Schiff, U.S. Congressman representing California’s 28th Congressional District, which includes Burbank, parts of Pasadena, and Glendale, and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; he tweets @RepAdamSchiff