An aid organization co-founded by actor Sean Penn announced Wednesday that it is offering private, for-profit COVID-19 testing services to film and television productions, starting with Los Angeles-based production units.
Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) has been commissioned by the AFI Film School to provide testing services for their student film productions, and the organization is in discussion with several Los Angeles-based film and television productions.
CORE also plans to expand its services to other production hubs in the
United States. “We are eager to offer private testing to film and television productions to not only help fund CORE's programs that help vulnerable and underserved communities, but also to fortify California's economy,” Penn said.
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“Enabling production companies to safely resume projects with testing will bring back thousands of film and television jobs to Los Angeles, and that's a critical next step for restoring life in our city.”
All of the net profits from the testing will go toward supporting the organization's community testing programs, according to CORE's co-founder, Ann Lee.
“We have expanded to private testing to help offset the amount of funding necessary to continue offering free testing and critical relief services for vulnerable communities who have been significantly -- and disproportionately -- impacted by the pandemic,'' Lee said. “We could no longer wait for government agencies to respond by providing additional funding and support. This is a small step towards securing funds to keep our nonprofit operations afloat.''
The organization has administered 1.5 million tests across dozens of test sites across the nation, with a focus on serving low-income groups, communities of color, first responders and essential workers.