BMI, ASCAP, NSAI, RIAA, SAG-AFTRA, and many more organizations in the music and film industries sent a letter to members of Congress highlighting the ways implementation of the CARES Act has fallen short in aiding workers in the entertainment community. The letter also requests that these flaws be remedied in a new CARES Act COVID relief package.
In a joint statement the organizations stated: “While we appreciate the efforts of lawmakers to meet the challenges of this pandemic, we need to ensure that our community is getting the aid they need to survive. Musicians are struggling to access the basic financial resources available due to conflicting and burdensome requirements in relief programs. Simply, there is a hole in this safety net that Congress must fix in the next version of the CARES Act. We need help that only [Congress] can provide, in a way that recognizes the particulars of our industry. On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of us across the country, thank you for your understanding and your action.”
The letter lays out in stark terms the crisis that the live entertainment industry is facing due to the pandemic and points out the fact that the implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program has overlooked workers who have mixed income and report it on W-2 and 1099 forms.
“In almost all cases that we see in every state, a minimum amount of W-2 income disqualifies a self-employed individual for PUA and significantly lowers the amount of assistance they receive,” the letter states. “PUA must be updated to recognize these different income streams and allow individuals to show their mixed sources of revenue for a full accounting of their annual income.”
Among the organizations signing the letter are the Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the Future of Music Coalition, Global Music Rights (GMR), the Music Artists Coalition (MAC), the Music Business Association, National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Recording Academy, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Screen Actors Guild-the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC), the Songwriters Guild of America, the Songwriters of North America (SONA), SoundExchange and many more.
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