As TikTok continues to tap into audiences’ love of theatre when attending a show is not an option, the social media platform will also do its part to ensure the artists celebrated in those viral videos are protected during the coronavirus pandemic. The company has announced it will donate $2 million to the COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance program administered by The Actors Fund.
Established the week following the Broadway shutdown, the emergency fund provides relief to all those in the entertainment community, from onstage and behind-the-scenes artists to administrative employees and more. Services range from emergency financial assistance, health insurance, counseling, and the Fund’s Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts.
TikTok has become a hub for Gen Z theatre fans in the past year. The Broadway production of Beetlejuice amassed a massive (and young) following on the platform, producing their own content and serving as inspiration for millions of short videos. Shows like Six and Mean Girls have also remained engaged with the vocal and enthusiastic demographic, prompting cosplay lip syncs, becoming a platform for casting announcements, and more.
The theatre community as a whole has rallied behind The Actors Fund in the wake of theatre shutdowns across the country. Shortly after Broadway halted performances, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley launched Stars in the House, a twice-daily live stream series with special guests benefiting the Fund; the two were recently named honorary recipients of 2020 Drama Desk Awards for their efforts. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, through donations and a producers’ match initiative, have raised nearly $4 million for the Fund’s programs.
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