Greg Berlanti, one of TV’s busiest producers who had 17 series in the works before the coronavirus lockdown, has donated $1 million to support production staffers on his shows and other coronavirus relief efforts.
Berlanti, who is based at Warner Bros., told his team of showrunners in a message sent Wednesday that a $600,000 fund has been set up to provide emergency assistance to those working on Berlanti Productions projects who are in the most need. Another $400,000 will be donated to the MPTF Emergency Relief Fund, the SAG-AFTRA COVID Relief Fund and the Actors Fund.
“I know not knowing when your job might return creates a significant financial and emotional hardship for many. It is very important to me, and everyone at Berlanti Productions, that we are doing all that we can to help you during this time,” Berlanti wrote.
Berlanti’s letter comes as the lockdown stretches into its seventh week and previous commitments made by the studio to continue paychecks for sidelined staffers may be about to run out. He notes that Berlanti Prods. had more than 5,000 below-the-line staffers working on shows ranging from CW’s “Batwoman,” “The Flash” and “Riverdale” to Fox drama “Prodigal Son” to the new Kaley Cuoco drama “The Flight Attendant” for HBO Max.
Berlanti said the $600,000 fund will be made available first to staffers working on shows that were still in active production at the time of the shutdowns in mid-March, a list that includes “Batwoman,” “Flight Attendant,” “The Flash,” Supergirl” and “Prodigal Son.”
Here is Berlanti’s full letter:
Dear Fellow Co-Workers,
I hope wherever you are, you and your family or loved ones are safe and healthy. Obviously,
we are living in an unprecedented moment in modern history. The COVID-19 pandemic is
devastating lives, nations and businesses around the world, including our own.
All of the shows our company is affiliated with were in various states of production when the
pandemic began. We are working with your individual showrunners and the studio so that we
can have as many shows back in production as quickly as possible once it is deemed safe to do so. If you have any questions about when that might be, I encourage you to reach out to your showrunner or line producer; otherwise, they will be sure to share any information they might have as soon as they have it.
Until that time, I know not knowing when your job might return creates a significant financial
and emotional hardship for many. It is very important to me, and everyone at Berlanti
Productions, that we are doing all that we can to help you during this time. To that end, in
addition to the pay that WarnerMedia generously committed to employees who had work
halted, I will also be donating a million dollars to relief efforts.
The first $600,000 will go directly to our fellow co-workers that are most in need. If you are in
need of immediate assistance, email my associate Carl Ogawa at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and let him know the show you work on and the best
number to reach you at. He will coordinate the rest with you directly. We will not share your
personal circumstance or request with anyone.
Given that we are associated with 17 shows in various stages of production, with over 5,000
crew and production staff members working on them, unfortunately this fund can’t support
every single person and we will need to prioritize supporting those most in need. We would
like to start by first opening it up to the shows that were shutdown with production incomplete.
Those shows are:
Batwoman ; Doom Patrol ; The Flash ; Riverdale ; The Flight Attendant ; Supergirl ; Prodigal
In a few weeks, as we know more about the length of time production might be delayed for,
our hope is to open up the remainder of the fund to the following productions:
All American ; Black Lightning ; The Girls On The Bus ; Katy Keene ; Legends of Tomorrow ;
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ; Stargirl ; Superman & Lois ; Titans ; You.
That being said, if you are in desperate need of immediate assistance right now, please reach
out and we will do what we can now to get you help today.
An additional $400,000 will be donated across the following institutions that offer a range of
financial and healthcare services to crew, actors, unemployed support staff and our other
sisters and brothers in the entertainment industry: The Motion Picture Television Emergency
Relief Fund, The SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund and The Actors Fund.
If you have any other questions, concerns, or ideas of how we can help or be of service to you or those in our production families that are most vulnerable during this time, please let us know and we will do our best. Until then, please stay safe and know that we are very much looking forward to and planning for that time when we are all working together again.