Newsom asks Hollywood to cease filming in conservative states

Expanding his attack on Republican states over their stances on guns, civil rights and abortion, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday called on Hollywood to “walk” on liberal values ​​by bringing back its film and television production from such states. like Georgia and Oklahoma.

Mr. Newsom issued the challenge via an advertisement in Variety which asked the state’s left-leaning creative community to “assess their values ​​and those of their employees when doing business in those states.”

At the same time, the Democratic governor on Wednesday endorsed a legislative proposal that would provide $1.65 billion in $500,000 to extend the California Film and Television Production Tax Credit program for five years.

It was the second time in recent weeks that Mr. Newsom has used the California law as a vehicle to tear into Republican leaders elsewhere. Last month, he signed a bill allowing citizens to sue illegal gun manufacturers and took the opportunity to rebuke Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has previously allowed his residents to sue abortion providers.

Newsom’s remarks on Wednesday underscored the pressure the intensifying culture wars are putting on US corporations, particularly in states where women’s reproductive rights have been severely limited since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Some of the nation’s biggest companies, including the Walt Disney Company, Netflix and Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, have announced programs to help workers who need abortion access but can’t get it in their home states. Hundreds of entertainers also denounced policies in Republican-led states that have weakened protections for LGBTQ people. Last week, about 400 television producers and hosts publicly demanded that production companies protect pregnant workers in states where abortion is illegal.

But the entertainment companies have yet to announce any major plans to cancel expansion or move offices. “King of Tulsa,” Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming crime drama starring Sylvester Stallone, was filmed this summer at Paramount+ in Oklahoma.

Governor Brian Kemp in Georgia on Monday announced that this fiscal year, film and television production in the state generated $4.4 billion. US dollars is a new record. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was filmed in the state, the governor noted, as was the fourth season of “Stranger Things.”

“I am pleased to announce Gavin Newsom as the 2021 Oklahoma Economist of the Year. and I’m glad to see it go two years in a row,” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt joked Wednesday. Mr. Stitt made a similar impression on California’s governor last year, talking about the state’s pandemic shutdowns, which Mr. Stitt said boosted business in his state.

The Motion Picture Association, a trade group that represents major movie studios and Netflix, declined to comment Wednesday.

Relocating production can be particularly expensive and logistically difficult, and some of the entertainment industry’s biggest companies have invested heavily in states with conservative leaders. Disney, for example, maintains extensive operations in Florida despite a bitter and costly standoff between its workers and the state.

After Disney, under pressure from its employees, resisted After Florida’s ban on LGBTQ-related instruction, state lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis stripped the company of special authority it had on land owned by Disney World and other companies. Meanwhile, Disney has delayed a planned move of about 2,000 high-level jobs from California to Florida.

Mr. Newsom was the thick of that power struggle trolling Mr. DeSantis on Twitter and calling out Disney for months. reconsider your Florida investments. The Variety ad was the latest a Mr. Newsom’s series of initiatives to take his defense of “California values” to the national stage.

A $105,000 spot Last month’s Florida program — attacking Mr. DeSantis and inviting Florida companies to California — was the first of Mr. Newsom’s national efforts, which included ads in Texas newspapers attacking Mr. Abbott over abortion restrictions and a highly publicized ad. trip to Washington to discuss gun legislation, among other things.

By expanding his attacks to include Oklahoma and Georgia, Mr. Newsom targeted not only California’s two most aggressive competitors in the production of movies, television and other content, but also two of the most socially conservative states in the country.

Oklahoma, which rose aggressively film production incentives during the pandemic have banned almost all abortions since Roe v. Wade’s cancellation. Georgia, with one of the most generous film production incentive packages, has borne fruit. full legal recognition. This week, the Georgia Tax Agency found that pregnant women can take out $3,000 tax exemption for any fruit with a detectable heartbeat.

Mr. Newsom noted that California’s abortion rights are among the safest in the country. The state has also passed some of the strictest laws on gun safety and civil liberties for LGBTQ people.

The California Film Tax Credit, created by the state in 2009 after Canadian production began to decline was debatable, even if in 2014 it has been expanded and remodeled. This incentive allows filmmakers to recover as much as 25 percent of their costs. the first $100 million for crew salaries and other expenses, excluding star salaries. But other states, including Georgia, offer more significant discounts.

Critics complain that the tax credit encourages competition and rarely keeps production in the state long-term. in 2019 analysis the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that a third of the projects receiving subsidies likely would have taken place in California.

“While some film and television projects have probably been developed here because of the credit, many other similar projects have also been developed here without any financial incentive,” the report said.

But Newsom mentioned Wednesday another studyA study this year by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation for the Motion Picture Association concluded that California’s program has helped create more than 110,000 jobs and generated tens of billions of dollars. In recent years, the tax credit also helped bringing shows like American Horror Story, Veep and Lucifer back to California from other states and countries.

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