Following the political and cultural earthquake of Roe v Wade being overturned by the conservative majority Supreme Court on June 24, the industry talent asked studios and streamers for a “review of your current abortion safety plan” within 10 business days. That deadline would have been just before midnight tonight L.A. time. Though Lionsgate was among the AMPTP member companies sent a letter by the showrunners and writers on July 28, the studio was not among those responding Wednesday.
While many of these studios said they would pay for their employees to travel to receive abortions, workers complained that the studios did not clearly specify their support for abortions.
Thank you for your letter of July 28, 2022. We share your concerns around the health, safety and well-being of our dedicated employees and the people who support our productions. We believe they should have access to safe and effective health care, and their privacy should be protected.
We are pleased that our industry partners have quickly addressed this important issue and are committed to continuing to evaluate ways that we can best provide for our employees and workers who support our productions.
We want to assure you that we are individually focused on supporting the health, safety, well-being and privacy of our respective employees and those who support our productions as we continue to monitor this evolving situation. We look forward to working with you to continue to make great content for our audiences around the world.
Many of the people who initially wrote to the studios complained their response was too vague.
“It’s an insult, plain to see,” one signee told Deadline. “It’s indicative of what’s truly important to them, which isn’t us, our safety or rights.”
Another person told Deadline, “I shouldn’t be surprised, I am, but I know I shouldn’t be.”
But if one thing was made clear in the wake of the Roe v. Wade decision earlier this year, its that Hollywood is willing to stay in pro-life states if it means they can save money.
Despite its outrage against the Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade, Hollywood has yet to boycott filming and producing in states that restrict or ban abortions because of the significant tax breaks studios receive in those states.
Jonathan Kuntz, a film historian at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, says, “If you’re talking about Supreme Court decisions and laws in state legislatures, there’s thousands of those all the time. Once you boycott one, some folks may see it as a slippery slope. That’s tricky. It’s very difficult for a large company to negotiate that.”
Movieguide® previously explored the possibility of Hollywood boycotts over pro-life laws, finding, that “Georgia’s $1.2 billion tax credit for film and TV production means it’s an attractive destination for production companies despite its restrictions on abortion.”
While many major companies, including Netflix, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, will cover employees’ abortion-related travel expenses, they still have not announced plans to boycott states that have banned or will ban or restrict abortion.
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