California Creates Law To Stop Movie Production In Abortion Ban States


States are where the action is when comes to dynamic legislation. The most innovative states bring in new businesses and provide an economically healthier state with an improved quality of life. They offer dramatic bills to improve the internet, halt climate change, and become more energy-efficient. Now, one state is encouraging companies from abortion unfriendly states to move.

If a company in the film and television industry has been located in a state that has strict abortion bans, California has just introduced a bill that provides ooutstanding tax breaks to woo them back to Hollywood and other locations. These states would could target Alabama and Georgia with their horrific anti-choice laws.

The peach state has been offering healthy tax breaks for both film and television. As a result, they had 455 projects last year, according to CNBC. That included the profitable Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. 

Last week Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed one of the most draconian abortion laws in the country. Cases of rape and incest are not excluded, only cases that risk the physical health and life of the woman.

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California Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D) sponsored the proposed legislation:

‘There are actors and actresses that are refusing to be part of a production in one of those states. I think it really puts pressure on the industry to reconsider whether they want to do business in those states.’

Rivas represents a district located in Los Angeles County. She said:

‘We’re willing to expand (the program) to other states. But right now we’re highlighting those states with strict abortion bans.’

Alabama has become a film and television industry center. The state has broken its production record by competing close to 150 projects. The state has given some of those projects refundable tax credits of up to 35% on qualified expenses.

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Georgia has a similar program of tax breaks for productions. A full 455 film and television projects completed production last year, including Marvel Studios’ Black Panther.

‘A lot of the entertainment industry has relocated to Georgia because that state was very competitive in their own state film tax credit. We’re trying to further incentivize the entertainment industry that currently is filming in states with these strict abortion bans to come and do business in California and share our values.’

Rivas’ legislation Assembly Bill 1442 adds to the incentives that California already offers the film and television industry. The existing legislation tripled the state’s film incentive program from “$100 million to $330 million annually.”

These additional tax credits will begin in January 2020 for companies that choose to move away from anti-choice states. Rivas said:

‘(P)ending legislation or existing law that prohibits access to, criminalizes the provision of, or otherwise restricts a woman’s access to abortion services after 6 weeks from the beginning of the pregnancy or earlier.’

The California Film Commission lured 16 television series back the state that birthed Hollywood. These include Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. In March, the commission said it estimated spending $99 million, and it received conditional approval in almost $25 million for tax credits.

Rivas said that the film industry creates almost $50 million in the state’s economy:

‘California is both a leader in women’s rights and the film industry’

The California state representative indicated that the details of the new incentives were still under construction, and that included the budget. The California Share Our Values Film Tax Incentive will have to make it through several committees before it can come to the Assembly floor for a full vote. The entire process might take a month or longer.

New York-headquartered Killer Films CEO Christine Vachon tweeted that her company:

‘(W)ill no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned.’

Former Disney studio chief and Los Angeles-based production company owner Nina Jacobson produces Hunger Games and Crazy Rich Asians. She tweeted that she agreed with Vachon. David Simon has done the HBO show The Wire and said he was also boycotting Georgia.

J.J. Executive producers Abrams and Jordan Peele will stay, but they plan to donate fees from its HBO series Lovecraft County for the purpose of fighting Alabama’s abortion law

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have decided to keep their production company Image Entertainment in Georgia. They released a joint statement indicating that they would “boycott the state as a production center:”

‘After much thought and deliberation, we decided to continue with shooting Hillbilly Elegy in Georgia next month.’