Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on California’s multibillion-dollar film industry to stop producing films in the states of Georgia and Oklahoma because they have passed harsh anti-abortion laws.
“Today more than ever you have a responsibility to take stock of your values – and those of your employees — when doing business in those states,” Newsom told production firms in Hollywood.
The California film industry translates into close to one hundred billion dollars annually. The most recent official figure was 91.83 billion, but in 2020, when the pandemic limited productions; now it has more momentum.
In defiance of the Court, Newsom wants California to enshrine the right to abortion in its Constitution
The governor recalled that in the last hundred years, California has been the home of cinematographic stories and those who tell them. “It has created a community that includes unrivaled cast, crew, experts, infrastructure and technology, but most importantly we share values, and now is the time to choose,” he said.
As part of the same message, the state president targeted two states governed by Republicans with an inverse logic. “In recent years, legislatures like those in Georgia and Oklahoma have launched vicious attacks on essential (reproductive) rights, brazenly and openly inflicting those attacks with the intent of harming communities,” he said.
The message is a shot at elevation for two important governors of the Republican Party: Brian Kemp, the enemy of Donald Trump who governs Georgia, and Kevin Stitt, the businessman who has been in charge of the administration in Oklahoma since 2019.
Newsom told the movie industry that California preserves the freedom that movie producers have “in access to needed health services including abortion.” He also emphasized that it is a state free from “repressive governments that dictate to its residents what they must believe and threaten to sue them if they dare” to make decisions on their own.
“To those who have decision-making power over where to film, where to hire, where to open new offices, we in California ask you to follow our path,” the governor said.
Newsom’s request comes as the California legislature is shaping up to pass a package of state laws that will reduce taxes on film productions through 2030, as an incentive to boost the entertainment industry within California.
The incentive is a tax credit of at least 1,650 million dollars, 330 million annually between 2025 and 2030. California currently has a similar budget for the entertainment industry but of 150 million dollars for 2023 and 2024. .
The film industry, even with a reduction in state taxes, also contributes to the state by generating high employment rates.
Newsom’s call for Hollywood to boycott states that restrict abortion rights and take advantage of the incentive by producing in California could win the support of most Democrats. However, at least one leader in Georgia said it could backfire.
Stacey Abrams, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, lamented that if the boycott goes through, it will affect tens of thousands of people in her state who work for entertainment. Furthermore, Abrams warned, the measure would punish many workers in that industry who defend the right to abortion.
Democrats bet on Silicon Valley funds to retain majority in Congress
Beyond the differences among members of the Democratic Party, some of the largest entertainment firms have already expressed their intention not to produce in Georgia in response to mass shootings and after it passed its state anti-abortion law in 2019.
A former Disney CEO, Bob Iger, warned on this point. He said that because of Georgia’s lax gun laws and anti-abortion law, “many of our employees have expressed a desire not to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes.”
Several states with Republican governments compete for Hollywood productions also with tax exemptions, but Newsom appeals to California’s values in favor of reproductive health, an area where he stands out as a vanguard, as a sanctuary for the practice of abortion.
The state of California even approved a budget to help reach women from other states where abortion is prohibited, provide them with accommodation, medical and psychological care, if they need it, among other benefits.
Copyright SA 2022 Online Policy.
Please do not cut or paste our notes on the web, you have the possibility to redistribute them using our tools.