Netflix has increased the amount of money in its coronavirus emergency relief fund by $50 million, bringing the total for displaced production workers to $150 million, a company spokeswoman said on Friday.

Film and TV production has been shut down around the world as people shelter at home to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The abrupt closures put hundreds of thousands of cast and crew members out of work.

In March, Netflix announced it had established a $100 million fund to assist the hardest-hit workers on its own productions and others in areas where Netflix has a large production base. ·Some of the money is being allocated through non-profit groups that are helping the industry through the coronavirus crisis.

The company so far has provided assistance in the United States, Canada, Britain, Italy, India, France, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, and the Netherlands.

Netflix on Friday also said it had made some documentary features and series, including Our Planet and Explained, available on the company’s YouTube channel for free at the request of teachers.

The move comes as the coronavirus outbreak has forced educational institutions to shut down, and confined millions of students to their homes, compelling schools and colleges to tap virtual tools to keep the classes running.

The decision to make some content free on YouTube is a rare exception to Netflix’s marketing strategy, which otherwise charges a monthly subscription fee from users to avail its services.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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