Home Hollywood Why Hollywood Hasn’t Started a Boycott Yet – The Hollywood Reporter

Why Hollywood Hasn’t Started a Boycott Yet – The Hollywood Reporter


The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade’s ruling puts Hollywood between the hard and the hard. While some entertainment executives may have tried to stay away from political strife over the past few years, industry leaders have begun to consider the issue of talent already starting to consider deal-breakers when evaluating whether to work on projects with certain partners. Major studios now understand that they may be ostracizing talent and audiences by staying silent.

Most major Hollywood companies, including Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery, condemned the decision and told employees they would cover the cost of travel to out-of-state for abortions. The Writers Guild of America sees itself as the only group in the industry calling for a boycott of filming in states that passed abortion bans, urging employers to “consider each state’s laws when choosing where to film.”

In some states that have passed and will pass abortion restrictions, there has apparently been no widespread call for a boycott of the filming, in stark contrast to many in Hollywood threatening to pull investment from Georgia, which passed in 2019 a ban on the detection of fetal heartbeats. Abortion legislation. The difference this time around, industry insiders say, is whether it’s possible to stop filming in nearly half of the U.S., especially in states that collectively provide billions of dollars in tax breaks each year for productions.

Hollywood’s response to Georgia’s abortion ban, now that it’s about to go into effect, could serve as a litmus test for how the industry responds to laws widely adopted in multiple states that have drawn the ire of most talent. The studio did not say whether they would continue to threaten to boycott filming in the state. This seems unlikely.

“It’s been relatively quiet,” said Alexis Jackson, a ten-year immigrant from Georgia who worked as a director of photography. “My first AD and I are talking about boycott concerns because there’s been a lot of discussion about it, but I haven’t heard anything concrete.”

After Georgia passed an abortion ban in 2019, Hollywood en masse mobilized to protest the legislation. Netflix said it would withdraw projects from the state if the law goes into effect. Disney, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, AMC, Sony, CBS and Viacom are followed by the same threat.Some people do well: Kristen Wiig cancels production of Lionsgate comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar Executive Producer from Amazon Studios in Georgia powerResponding to the legislation, former Disney CEO Bob Iger said, “Many of the people who work for us don’t want to work there, and we’re going to have to listen to their wishes in that regard.” A mass boycott of filming in Georgia is imminent.

But JJ Abrams and Jordan Peele took a different path. They continued to film their respective projects in Georgia and chose to donate to organizations working to overturn the state’s so-called Heartbeat Act. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams similarly urged studios and producers not to boycott filming in high-volume states. While a boycott could send a message to lawmakers in a state that spends billions of dollars a year from Hollywood, the point of their reasoning is that it would hurt the people who work in the film industry the most — most of whom oppose the legislation . In Georgia, nearly 100,000 people work in the film industry.

After the Supreme Court ruling, its rationale appeared to resonate with entertainment industry policymakers.

“When people call for a boycott, I feel like we’re being left out of the conversation; there’s a disconnect,” said Melissa Simpson, executive director of Film Impact Georgia. “This time, people know it’s going to hurt people who are already hurting.”

But in addition to resisting the impact on the workforce, studio hesitancy to pull productions from Georgia may in some cases come down to tax breaks.

Since the widespread adoption of state incentive programs to lure Hollywood money, production crews have been steadily fleeing California in favor of areas that offer more tax breaks.credits attract breaking Bad and Better call Saul to New Mexico, walking dead and Avengers: Endgame to Georgia and Jurassic World and now you see me to Louisiana. These states have grown into their own film hubs, with production infrastructure to match.

Thirty-six states offer some form of tax relief for the film industry. Two of them — Georgia and Louisiana — are major Hollywood players and likely have or have passed laws restricting abortion. They gave Hollywood $2.11 billion in tax breaks over the past two fiscal years ending in 2021, even taking into account the shutdown forced by the pandemic.

Of the 22 states that have banned, mostly banned or likely banned abortion, 15 offer Hollywood tax credits to boost production. For the film industry, they provide nearly a billion dollars in free money every year. (Excluding Georgia, whose incentive program has no annual cap.)

A brick-and-mortar production executive at a major studio who declined to name the story told hollywood reporter It’s unlikely that studios will forgo such a massive tax break, which could make or break a production.

The entertainment industry has historically been reluctant to take political action, especially when funding is at stake, notes Jonathan Kuntz, a film historian at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. While most people in Hollywood tend to be progressive, audiences aren’t limited to one side of the aisle. After all, conservatives watch movies too.

“If you’re talking about Supreme Court decisions and state legislature laws, there are thousands of people all the time,” Kuntz said. “Once you boycott one, some people might see it as a slippery slope. It’s tricky. It’s hard for big companies to negotiate.”

The decision to pull investment from states with abortion restrictions may come from select studios and individuals rather than mass boycotts.

“I have a feeling we’re going to start seeing companies announcing that they won’t be producing in certain states,” said Ivy Kagan Bierman, chairman of Loeb & Loeb’s entertainment labor practice, who handles guild and union negotiations for film, television and digital companies “When you talk about mobilization, I expect some key people in the production, like directors, producers, and talent, to take positions that they don’t want to have on projects that are being produced in certain states.”

Questions have also persisted about what a mass boycott of shootings in more than half of the country would look like, and whether it would be feasible. Jackson opposed calls to stop shootings in any state that passed an abortion ban, observing: “How do you do that when the scope is so huge?”

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