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Greg Berlanti Starts $500K Strike Relief Fund For Support Staff Of His Company’s Shows, Makes Additional Donations Amid Work Stoppage

Top TV showrunners are stepping in to help their crews as the Hollywood work stoppage heads into the fall with no end in sight.

In an email sent today to people who had worked as support staff or below-the-line personnel on Berlanti Productions shows in the last few years, he announced that the company has launched a strike relief fund of $500,000 for them.

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“We will be doing our best to spread these funds amongst as many people as possible, so they will be in denominations of 500 to 1500 dollars,” Berlanti wrote. (You can read his email in full below)

Back in May, soon after the start of the WGA strike, Berlanti was among top showrunners who collectively contributed $1.7 million to the Entertainment Community Fund.

In today’s letter to his fellow co-workers, Berlanti, whose own Warner Bros. TV deal has been suspended amid the strike, revealed that he will be making additional donations of $150,000 to that fund and the same amount to the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

“I will be asking for that money to be earmarked for support staff and below-the-line workers,” Berlanti wrote. “I implore other industry workers in a fortunate enough situation to give what they can to these organizations today.”

Berlanti similarly stepped up to help his staff and others during the pandemic. In one of the biggest individual donations to the relief efforts aimed at people in the industry impacted by the Covid-related production shutdowns, Berlanti in April 2020 committed $1 million, including $600K for workers on Berlanti Productions shows.

That gesture was similarly unveiled by Berlanti in a staff email and he actually started today’s message by quoting from his 2020 memo.

“I never thought that within three years I would have to write a note of a similar nature, but as the WGA strike stretches into the fourth month, and with SAG joining the picket lines in July, once again I wanted to reach out and offer as much immediate help as we can,” he wrote. “As I said during the pandemic, I realize not knowing when your job might return creates a significant financial and emotional hardship for many. Also, I know many of our coworkers have barely caught their financial breath since that time. It is very important to me, and everyone at Berlanti Productions, that we are doing all that we can to help you during this moment.”

Berlanti went on to reaffirm his support for his union and the main goal of the ongoing strike.

“I am a proud member of the WGA and I support a fair deal that continues to provide sustainable lifelong careers for all of the incredible talent just entering this business,” he said. “I also know how vulnerable so many are right now, and I want to make sure we are doing all we can to help others while both these strikes continue.”

Fellow top showrunner Ryan Murphy also today announced a $500K assistance fund targeting crews and casts on his company’s shows who have been impacted by the strikes.

Here is Berlanti’s fill email:

“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.

That’s how I started my last email of this kind, three years ago in the heart of the pandemic, to let everyone know what our company was doing to try and help people. I never thought that within three years I would have to write a note of a similar nature, but as the WGA strike stretches into the fourth month, and with SAG joining the picket lines in July, once again I wanted to reach out and offer as much immediate help as we can.

As I said during the pandemic, I realize not knowing when your job might return creates a significant financial and emotional hardship for many. Also, I know many of our coworkers have barely caught their financial breath since that time. It is very important to me, and everyone at Berlanti Productions, that we are doing all that we can to help you during this moment. Early in the strike, like many others in my position, I donated to the Entertainment Community Fund. I will be making additional donations of 150,000 to that fund and the same amount to the Motion Picture & Television Fund — two amazing organizations I am incredibly proud to be associated with and that represent the best qualities of our business. I will be asking for that money to be earmarked for support staff and below-the-line workers.
I implore other industry workers in a fortunate enough situation to give what they can to these organizations today.

In addition, for the support staff and below-the-line workers of our own shows, we are starting a strike relief fund of an additional 500,000 dollars. If you are receiving this email it means you have worked on one of our shows in the last few years in that capacity. If you have worked on one of our shows and haven’t received this email for some reason, and have heard about this elsewhere, that’s okay too. Either way: if you are in need, please email my associate Carl Ogawa and let him know the show you work(ed) on, what your position was and the best number to reach you at. He will coordinate the rest with you directly. As during the pandemic, we will not share your personal circumstance or request with anyone. Please note, there is about a ten-day turnaround time for funds to get to you. Also, we will be doing our best to spread these funds amongst as many people as possible, so they will be in denominations of 500 to 1500 dollars.

I am a proud member of the WGA and I support a fair deal that continues to provide sustainable lifelong careers for all of the incredible talent just entering this business. I also know how vulnerable so many are right now, and I want to make sure we are doing all we can to help others while both these strikes continue. If you have any other 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, know that we are very much looking forward to that time when we are all working together again.

Warmest,

Greg Berlanti

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