I don’t want to have any “it’s not their fault” mewling over this.
Cineworld is not the only venue for the creative industries that is suffering as a result of the Johnson government’s failure to get a grip on Covid-19.
But while BoJob and his buddies funnel money hand over fist to their chums in fake firms, set up in a pretence at treating/preventing the disease, they’re letting our artists and entertainers go to the wall.
They’ll say it’s because they haven’t got a legal means of helping but I think they just want to end fun in our lifetime.
Cineworld is set to temporarily close its UK cinemas in the coming weeks.
The firm is writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to say the industry is now “unviable”.
The firm says it has been hit by delays in the release of big-budget films, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.
The premiere of James Bond film No Time To Die has been postponed twice and is now due for release in April 2021.
Philippa Childs of entertainment and broadcasting union Bectu said: “The delay in the release of the Bond film along with the other delayed releases has plunged cinema into crisis.”
In a socially-distanced country, cinemas simply aren’t viable. Current guidelines mean operators should “organise seating to ensure two-metre distancing can be maintained; where two metres is not viable, one metre with risk mitigation is acceptable. Mitigations should be considered and those introduced set out in the risk assessment”. In Scotland, the two-metre rule must be maintained strictly.
That means only a handful of people can attend any auditorium at any time and it becomes unviable to employ the staff needed to run a venue.
It’s not often that I agree with this tweeter any more, but I’ll make an exception in this case:
Creative industries contributed £117bn a year pre-lockdown.
£13m an hour.
Our TV, film, music and theatre is envied all over the world.
Yet the lack of government support for the arts and artists means we face a future without them. https://t.co/vAYr3mZlyi
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) October 4, 2020
Cineworld expects to make 5,500 staff unemployed while the 120-venue chain is closed – throwing them on the scant mercy of the Johnson government.
The hope is that they will be able to re-employ those members of their former staff who survive a winter of Covid-19 and the Tories’ harsh benefit conditions.
If that happens, I hope the company doesn’t take the easy – and very Tory – option of using this as an opportunity to cut staff pay and conditions. That would be a step too far.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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