Amazon Prime Donates $600K to Help COVID-Hit Industry in Germany

'You Are Wanted'
Amazon Germany

'You Are Wanted'

Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios contributed to a fund to help behind-the-scenes workers in Germany’s entertainment industry who have been hard hit by the global pandemic. 

Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios have contributed $603,000 (€500,000) to a fund to support workers in the German entertainment industry — including roadies, make-up artists, gaffers, and sound technicians — affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

The donation, announced Thursday, will go to Backstage Heroes, an initiative launched by German magazine Stern and supported by such German entertainment personalities as actor/director Michael Bully Herbig, actress Veronica Ferres, and singer Nico Santos. The money is earmarked to help those who work behind the scenes at movie productions, concerts, and other events that have been delayed or canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

While the German government has provided support for many industries hit by the pandemic, behind-the-scenes workers, the majority of whom are self-employed, have been largely overlooked. 

"No show can be staged, no movie be filmed and no concert be held without the people working backstage to make it all happen," said Philip Pratt, Head of German Amazon Originals for Prime Video in a statement. "Many of these backstage heroes are working project-based and have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis that brought most artistic endeavors to a halt. This is a difficult, challenging time and we are aware of the hardship many people are going through. As we gear up for production on a number of Amazon Original series in Germany and across Europe in the coming months, we’re committed to continuing to support the broader creative community through this crisis."

Amazon's donation kicks off the Backstage Heroes project and is part of Amazon Prime's $6 million commitment to support the European TV and film production creative community through the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations already announced include a $1.2 million (€1 million) donation in Italy for the COVID-19 emergency fund, Scena Unita, a $1.34 million (£1 million) donation in the U.K. for the Film and TV Charity’s COVID-19 Response, and a $670,000 (£500,000) donation to the Theatre Community Fund, launched by Olivia Colman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Francesca Moody to provide hardship grants to theatre workers and freelancers across the U.K.

Affected persons in Germany can apply for an immediate $1,340 (€1,000) aid grant from Backstage Heroes, with an honorary jury quickly and un-bureaucratically deciding which applicants to accept.