Seth MacFarlane is partnering with the Entertainment Community Fund for a new $10 million strike initiative for out-of-work industry laborers — and he helped kick things off by donating $5 million to the fund himself, the ECF announced Thursday.
Assisting film and TV entertainment professionals across practices, from writing and production assistants to key grips and gaffers to lighting and sound designers, the ECF (previously known as The Actors Fund) has experienced a spike in need for emergency financial assistance over the course of the dual writers’ and actors’ strikes. This assistance covers basic living expenses like rent, groceries, health insurance and medical bills, as well as mental health support.
In a release obtained by TheWrap, the ECF said they are distributing between $400,000 and $500,000 weekly, compared to pre-strike averages of about $75,000 per week.
In partnership with the Fund, MacFarlane’s donation — itself on the heels of a $1 million donation in July — and the initiative at large will help alleviate that influx.
“There aren’t enough words to express our tremendous gratitude to Seth as he continues to help those in need, all while inspiring others with this call to action to do the same,” Annette Bening, ECF’s newly elected chair of the board, said in a statement. “At this rate, we’ll need at least $10 million to continue helping people in the coming weeks. Seth’s gift is an incredible contribution to help us be able to do that, and we hope others join in, as well.”
Added Joe Benincasa, the Fund’s president and CEO: “We are eternally grateful to Seth for this extremely generous donation. We know that there will be longterm ramifications of the work stoppage that will continue to impact people’s lives and well-being for months to come, and this transformative gift will allow us to continue to answer the influx of requests for help we get each day.”
Since the start of the WGA strike in May, the Fund has raised over $10.1 million from more than 10,800 donors, including from notable Hollywood figures like Bening, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Greg Berlanti, Nancy and Steve Carrell, Rachel Bloom, David E. Kelly and Michelle Pfeiffer, Minnie Driver, Vince Gilligan, Shonda Rhimes and Daniel Radcliffe.
Those in need of assistance can find more information at entertainmentcommunity.org.