COVID ENTERTAINMENT

The entertainment industry and lockdown: the people behind the screen

It’s hard to find an industry that has been hit as hard by coronavirus as the entertainment industry. The banning of live events and closure of cinemas the world over has threatened the livelihoods of thousands of entertainers and performers and has shined a light on the hugely important role these events and artists have on our everyday lives. With people spending more time than ever indoors, services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, along with traditional television have seen a surge both in their necessity and their users.

For many, the last 12 months have been incredibly difficult. Stress over work, education, safety and not being able to socialise have all taken their toll, especially for those who live alone. For some, entertainment in the form of live-streams and quiz shows has become their main point of contact with the real world, which puts increased pressure on the creators behind what we see on our screens.

Jim Conolly, an executive producer at Channel 4 (with credits including game show classic “Deal or No Deal”) asked “Where would we as a society have been in the last year without these distractions and without the imagined community shared media experiences bring to us all? The entertainment industry has truly cemented itself further as an essential service for producers, consumers and for the economy alike during the last twelve months and its continuing colossal output and success is a testament to the tenacity and creativity of the professionals involved in keeping the wheels of production turning under difficult circumstances.”

He went on to mention how the government had mostly ‘overlooked’ the industry, and stressed the importance of television during lockdown and how it “[plays] a key role in keeping the populace indoors… and also in keeping up their mental health”.

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