Friday, June 21, 2024

Pandemic Negative Effects on Broadway Community Huge In Actors Fund Survery Of Mental Health, Lost Income, Displaced Housing


The Actors Fund survey of the Broadway community concerning the pandemic has alarming results. ”

Here it is. It’s not good news.

The survey identified significant loss of income, food insecurity, lost housing, financial hardship and concerns about the future, among others. The survey, which has a margin of error of +/- 1.2%, was conducted by Morey Consulting.

The majority of the respondents to the survey, who come from all parts of the United States, work in television and/or film (67% and 64% respectively), followed by theater (49%), music (24%), digital (19%), performance art (15%), radio/audio (15%), dance (13%), cultural center/performance venues (11%), clubs (6%), and theme parks (4%). Eight percent work in some other area of entertainment or performing arts.

Joe Benincasa, CEO of The Actors Fund, said: “The last year has exposed how vulnerable people in our community are. We need to continue to provide critical support while the industry safely returns to work, and we intend to continue to explore ways to ensure more access to our services going forward.”

Impacts of Covid-19

The median household income among all respondents was $34,186. Given the low income and lack of savings, it is not surprising that the economic impact of Covid was greatest, with 76% of those surveyed saying they lost income, 62% reporting they lost part-time or gig employment, and 49% lost full-time employment in entertainment. Of the respondents who lost full-time or part-time employment in the entertainment industry, 22% do not know when they will return to work, 29% expect to return in less than six months, 34% in six to 12 months, 11% in one year.

Income loss of course impacted other areas of respondents’ lives, including:

· 28% fell behind in rent or mortgage

21% are six or more months behind while 30% are one month behind, 24% two months behind, 16% three months behind, 6% are four months behind, and 3% are five months behind

69% of respondents rented their homes, 24% owned their homes and 7% had some other living arrangement

· 20% were forced to change housing

68% of those who lost housing moved to another state, 28% to another city within the state and 4% percent have moved outside of the United States

31% of these respondents do not know when their housing will return to pre-Covid conditions.

13% of NYC respondent residents moved out of New York State, 7% of Los Angeles area respondent residents moved out of California.

Of those who have not lost their housing, 5% said they were likely and 12% said they were somewhat likely to lose it when the eviction moratorium is lifted.

10% had to sell a large asset, such as a house or a car.

40% of the respondents reported reduced food security.

Impact on BIPOC Entertainment Professionals

BIPOC respondents – approximately 27% of those surveyed – were more likely to experience reduced food security, forced housing change, increased credit card or other debt, and/or to have changed utility usage as compared to white respondents.

Health Insurance & Mental Health

Access to health care remains a significant challenge for survey respondents. 10% of the respondents reported that they lost health insurance and have not had it replaced. A stunning 79% reported that Covid-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health, pointing to increased feelings of anxiety or depression, symptoms of stress, and a decreased ability to cope with economic uncertainty.

Among respondents who have lost health insurance and do not have health insurance now, 13% expect to have coverage in less than 6 months, 18% in 6 to 12 months, 17% in 1 year, and 11% in 2 years or more. 40% do not know when they will have health insurance again and 1% never expect to have health insurance again.

BIPOC respondents were slightly more likely to have lost health insurance and not have health insurance.

Respondents who have health insurance were asked the likelihood of losing their health insurance in the next 12 months. 16% of respondents said they were very likely to lose insurance, 20% somewhat likely, and 38% were not at all likely to lose health insurance in the next 12 months. 25% of respondents do not know if they will lose their health insurance in the next 12 months.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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