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WGA Showrunner Match Fundraiser Surpasses $500,000 Target in Less Than a Week

A showrunner match fundraiser, inspired by discussions in a nearly 500-member showrunner text group, has exceeded its initial goal of raising $500,000 for the Entertainment Community Fund in just under a week.

The Showrunner Fundraising Match was launched on September 11 to provide support for film and TV workers who have been affected by the ongoing strikes, even if they are not actively participating in them.

The idea originated in a WhatsApp group with almost 500 showrunners, where someone raised concerns about Joelle Garfinkel’s Green Envelope Grocery Aid running low on funds to assist industry members impacted by the labor disputes.

Within a day, this group, initially formed to stay connected during the WGA strike, had raised over $50,000. Two veteran showrunners, who wished to remain anonymous to keep the focus on the workers, subsequently contacted 15 friends, each with a goal of collecting $10,000.

Their initial plan was to raise $200,000 and then discreetly share the fundraiser with other showrunners to match the donations. Some of the initial 15 showrunners donated more than the $10,000 requested.

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As of September 19, the effort has garnered nearly $290,000 from showrunners, including Eric Kripke (The Boys), Dee Harris-Lawrence (David Makes Man), Boots Riley (I’m a Virgo), Sierra Teller Ornelas (Rutherford Falls), Abbi Jacobson (A League of Their Own), and the general public.

The link to the fundraiser rapidly spread on social media and industry group chats, resulting in a combined total of $555,000 and counting, with close to 300 donors.

The Entertainment Community Fund, which has already distributed over $7.1 million to more than 3,400 film and TV workers as of September 15, will continue to receive contributions from the matching fund.

Since May 1, when the WGA strike began, the ECF has raised more than $8.9 million from over 10,500 donors, including foundations and notable individuals in the entertainment industry.

Joseph Benincasa, President and CEO of the Entertainment Community Fund, expressed gratitude for the support, emphasizing that the matching campaign exemplifies the industry’s commitment to assisting fellow workers in need.

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The matching fund will remain active as negotiations between the WGA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers continue. The organizers stressed that the funds, though substantial, are never enough, and they hope for a swift resolution to the strikes so that everyone can return to work.

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