SACRAMENTO — Expanding his attack on Republican states for their positions on guns, civil rights and abortion, Gov. California’s Gavin Newsom on Hollywood on Wednesday to “walk the walk” on liberal values by bringing back film and television productions from such states. such as Georgia and Oklahoma.
Mr. Newsom issued the challenge through ad in Diversity who asked the state’s creative left community to “consider your values - and the values of your employees – when doing business in those states.”
The Democratic governor on Wednesday also endorsed a legislative proposal that would provide a five-year extension of $1.65 billion to California’s film and television production tax credit program.
It was the second time in recent weeks that Mr. Newsom used the California legislation as a trigger to rip off Republican leaders elsewhere. Last month, he signed a bill that allows residents to make illegal guns and seize the opportunity Greg Abbott of Texas has been criticized for previously allowing its residents to sue abortion providers.
Mr. Newsom’s remarks on Wednesday underscored the pressure that culture wars have placed on US corporations, particularly in states where women’s reproductive rights are severely restricted because of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Some of the country’s biggest businesses, including the Walt Disney Company, Netflix and Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, have announced programs to help employees who need abortion access but can’t get it in their states town. Hundreds of entertainment figures have also denounced policies in Republican-led states that have weakened protections for LGBTQ people. Last week, about 400 television creators and producers publicly demanded that production companies protect pregnant employees in states where abortion is prohibited.
But entertainment companies have yet to announce major plans to cancel expansions or relocate offices. “Tulsa King“Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming crime drama starring Sylvester Stallone is filming this summer for Paramount+ in Oklahoma.
In Georgia on Monday, the Gov. Brian Kemp Announced that film and television productions generated $4.4 billion in the state this fiscal year, 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 was pleased to nominate the Gavin Newsom Oklahoma Economic Developer of the Year Award in 2021 and I am pleased to see it run for two years in a row,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma joked in a statement Wednesday. Mr. Stitt took a similar jab at California’s governor last year regarding the state’s pandemic shutdown, which Mr. Stitt said drove business for his state.
The Motion Picture Association, the trade group representing major movie studios and Netflix, declined to comment Wednesday.
Moving production can be extremely expensive and logistically complex, and some of the biggest companies in the entertainment industry are deeply invested in states with conservative leaders. For example, Disney has maintained extensive operations in Florida despite the bitter and costly rift between its employees and the state.
After Disney – under pressure from his employees – against it Florida’s ban on LGBTQ-related teaching, state lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis the company of the special authority he had over the tracts of land where Disney World and other properties of the company are located. Meanwhile, Disney delayed a planned relocation of about 2,000 high-profile jobs from California to Florida.
Mr. Newsom has been placed in the thick of that power struggle for months, trolling Mr. DeSantis on Twitter and inviting Disney to reconsider his investments in Florida. The Diversity ad was the latest in a series of initiatives by Mr. Newsom defend against putting “California values” on a national stage.
A $105,000 spot held in Florida last month — attacking Mr. DeSantis and inviting Florida businesses to California — was the opening salvo in a national effort by Mr. Newsom that included newspaper ads in Texas attacking Mr. Abbott’s highly publicized abortion restrictions. a trip to Washington, DC, to discuss gun legislation, among other things.
Expanding his attacks to include Oklahoma and Georgia, Mr. Newsom targeted not only two of California’s most aggressive competitors in film, television and other content production but also two of the most conservative states on social issues. .
Oklahoma, which came up strong film production incentives during the pandemic, yes ban almost all abortions since the reversal of Roe v. Wade. And Georgia, which has one of the nation’s most generous film production incentive packages, has granted your fetus full legal recognition. This week, a tax agency in Georgia found that pregnant women could take a personal $3,000 tax exemption for any fetus with a palpable heartbeat.
Mr. Newsom noted that California’s abortion rights are among the most secure in the nation. The state has also enacted some of the strictest laws in the nation regarding gun safety and civil liberties for LGBTQ people.
California’s film tax credit — created by the state in 2009 after productions decamped to Canada — was even worth an expansion and overhaul in 2014. The incentive allows filmmakers to recoup as much as 25 percent of their expenses — up to to the first $100 million – on crew salaries and other expenses, excluding star salaries. But other states, including Georgia, offer more substantial rebates.
Critics complain that the tax credit encourages bidding wars and rarely sustains performances in the state over the long term. 2019 analysis at the nonpartisan Legislative Analysts Office of the state found that one third of the projects that received the subsidies would probably have been done in California regardless.
“While some film and television projects were probably made here because of the credit, many other such projects were also made here without any financial incentive,” the report said.
But Newsom touted Wednesday another study, conducted this year by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. for the Motion Picture Association, concluded that the California program helped create more than 110,000 jobs and tens of thousands of dollars in economic output. In recent years, the tax credit also helped bring shows like “American Horror Story,” “Veep” and “Lucifer” back to California from other states and countries.