While superstars arguably had their nest eggs to ride out the COVID-19 shut down, a new survey from working actors and others in the entertainment industry shows just how devastating the pandemic was.
The survey from the Actors Fund, which has donated tens of millions to members in need since the pandemic began, polled 37,000 members as to how they’re faring — and for the more than 7,100 of them who responded, it’s not pretty.
Of those who reached out, 76% reported loss of income during the shutdowns; 50% lost full time work, and of those, 26% say they don’t know if they’re getting their jobs back. Sixty-two percent reported losing part-time work in the industry; 40% said they faced food insecurity, and 28% fell behind on their rent or mortgage.
Twenty percent of those respondents said their financial situation forced them to move; one in 10 lost their health insurance, and 10% had to sell a “large asset” like a house or car to stay afloat.
A third of those respondents were members of the BIPOC community, and they reported even higher levels of food insecurity and changes to their living situation, among other factors, compared to white respondents.
Not surprisingly, nearly 80% of those polled reported the pandemic has negatively affected their mental health.
In a statement after the report was released, the non-profit’s CEO Joe Benincasa said in a statement, “The last year has exposed how vulnerable people in our community are. We need to continue to provide critical support while the industry safely returns to work, and we intend to continue to explore ways to ensure more access to our services going forward.”
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