VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Netflix, Warner Bros. and CW have all halted in production in Canada over coronavirus fears, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The industry employs tens of thousands of people in the province, with the vast majority concentrated in Metro Vancouver.
The Hollywood Reporter quotes a Warner Media news release that says the conglomerate is halting production out of an abundance of caution due to the virus outbreak. Warner is behind Metro-Vancouver filmed series Superman & Lois, and Supergirl. The company halted production on Riverdale earlier this week after a crew member came into contact with someone diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
“In response to the global emergency related to COVID-19, we are working closely with our creative teams to assess the status of each of our series in accordance with the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local health and government officials. We will suspend production on some of our series currently filming and will delay those scheduled to start imminently. The health and safety of our employees, casts and crews is our number one priority,”
Netflix similarly put all production on pause.
“By mid-Friday, Netflix had shut down all scripted TV and film physical production and prep for two weeks in the U.S. and Canada to comply with government restrictions in the regions,” the Hollywood Reporter continuess
One local insider tells NEWS 1130 out of 51 film projects in B.C., 48 have been shut down.
A spokesperson for a union that represents workers in the motion picture industry says the rapidly changing situation is challenging for its members.
“We are dealing with the situation regarding COVID-19 as it unfolds in real time,” writes representative Phil Klapwyk in an email. “This is an unprecedented situation, not only locally but globally and we continue to work in the best interest of the professional artists and technicians of IATSE LOCAL 891 through this difficult time,”
NEWS 1130 has reached out to Creative BC for comment and is awaiting a response.
The movie industry represents tens of millions of dollars yearly for the local economy. In addition to film crews the industry employs thousands of others at rental companies, food vendors and special effects companies.