U.K. Leaders Demand Support for Freelance Film and TV Industry to Fight Coronavirus

As the coronavirus outbreak escalates in the U.K., union leaders and lawyers are calling for enhanced support for freelance film and TV workers, who are projected to fall at the sharpest edges of a crisis that could decimate the independent production sector if prolonged.With 800 positive cases and a death toll of 10 at press time, the U.K.

trails a number of hard-hit European countries, such as Italy, which is battling more than 15,000 infections and has reported over 1,000 deaths.However, a robust production sector — BFI’s 2019 figures show a total production spend of $4.7 billion across both film and TV — is set to become exposed as studios such as Disney begin to shut down shoots on big-budget productions such as “The Little Mermaid,” which was set to film at London’s Pinewood this month.Philippa Childs, head of U.K.

entertainment union Bectu, tells Variety, “Because the industry is booming

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