Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, joined Thursday with other members of Congress in writing a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, urging relief for entertainment industry freelance and contract workers financially impacted by coronavirus-related cancellations or postponements.
“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 petitioners wrote. “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.”
The signers urged Congressional leadership to calculate benefits based on verifiable anticipated earnings for a current or future contract that has been canceled, rather than prior wage history.
Rep. Schiff spoke with SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White in Thursday’s union podcast focused on the effects of coronavirus on its members.
Among others to sign the letter were Reps. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles; Tony Cardenas D-Pacoima; Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park; Gilbert Ray Cisneros Jr., D-Yorba Linda; J. Luis Correa, D-Santa Ana; Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles; Ted Lieu, D-Torrance; Alan S. Lowenthal, D-Long Beach; Grace F. Napolitano, D-Norwalk; and Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks.