Hollywood Studios and Top Guilds Ask President Biden for Pandemic Assistance

President Joe Biden
Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

"For much of 2020 through to the present, significant portions of the industry shuttered. The pandemic has put roughly 465,000 film and television jobs in the U.S. at risk," read a letter sent to the new commander-in-chief.

A coalition of Hollywood studios and entertainment guilds have dispatched a letter to newly installed President Joe Biden detailing in broad strokes what his administration can to do help the entertainment industry recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

"First and foremost, we support efforts to help America overcome the challenges of COVID-19. For much of 2020 through to the present, significant portions of the industry shuttered. The pandemic has put roughly 465,000 film and television jobs in the U.S. at risk," read the letter, which was signed by the Motion Picture Association, the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, IFTA and the AFL-CIO (DPE).

"Production will not return to normal levels until the country gets on top of the COVID crisis," they told Biden. "We stand ready to partner with you and the Congress on a comprehensive policy agenda to ensure the entertainment industry recovers and delivers more of the vibrant movie, television, and streaming content that audiences around the world love."

The letter stressed that the entertainment industry isn't all glitz and red carpets, and that the vast majority of the jobs supported across the U.S. cover a spectrum of skills and trades, help 320,000 businesses in cities and small towns across the country, and pay over $188 billion in wages annually. To boot, American movies and television generate $17 billion in international sales.

Hollywood called on the Biden administration to advance a strong copyright policy that cracks down on illegal piracy operations, a problem worsened during the pandemic.

Incentivizing production is another priority, since Hollywood's output will depend on policies that ensure the United States provides a globally-competitive environment for production, including with tax, trade, and insurance policy.

Open posts within within the White House, Justice Department, Commerce Department, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and key enforcement agencies are also key to future. "We hope you will make clear that these appointees will ensure that the federal government prioritizes copyright and the American creative sector when crafting and enforcing policies that affect us," said the letter.

"The Biden Administration and the 117th Congress will have many goals and priorities – promises to keep and a legacy to build," the letter concluded.