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Governor Newsom’s Courts Tout California as a ‘Free State’

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Amid outcry over anti-abortion laws in Hollywood, California Governor Gavin Newsom is urging studios to do business in California.

“Now more than ever, you have a responsibility to take stock of your values ​​— and those of your employees — when doing business in these states,” Newsom says in a political ad published in Variety. “So to those who have the power to decide where to film, where to hire, where to open new offices, we in California say, walk like this.”

The comments mark Newsom’s latest effort to tap into growing concerns raised by Hollywood talent and workers about states that have passed tougher abortion laws following the Supreme Court’s June ruling in quash Roe against Wade, who had organized abortions as a constitutional right.

Newsom, who is running for re-election, called out red heads of state for their positions on gun control, abortion and education.

In Georgia, the law prohibits abortions when the fetus has a detectable heartbeat, which can take place as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. Georgia has hosted many Hollywood productions including ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, ‘Family Feud’ and ‘Stranger Things 4’.

Last week, hundreds of TV showrunners and writers, including Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay, expressed their concerns in a letter to Disney, Netflix and other studios, asking them for details on how they would support the pregnant workers who work in low-income states. right to abortion.

“Currently, anyone who is pregnant working on one of your productions in states that have criminalized abortion is doing so at great risk,” according to a letter the group sent to Netflix.

Studios including Netflix and Disney have said they will reimburse out-of-state travel for full-time employees who work where abortion care is limited.

In her statement, Newsom touted the benefits of working in California instead of states like Oklahoma and Georgia that have restricted abortion rights. He also expressed support for legislation that would extend the state’s film and television tax credit program through 2030 and invest $1.65 billion in the program, which is funded through 2025.

“Expanding this program will help ensure that California’s world-class entertainment industry continues to drive economic growth with good jobs and a diverse and inclusive workforce,” Newsom said in the release.

California competes with states, including Georgia, that offer lucrative financial incentives for Hollywood productions. A recent report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation estimated that California lost nearly $8 billion in economic activity and 28,000 jobs due to moving productions out of state.

California Film Commission executive director Colleen Bell said she believes “working with and supporting a state that violates fundamental freedoms is contrary to the core values ​​of the industry.”

“More than ever, California offers the best value and values,” Bell said in a statement.

Editor Anousha Sakoui contributed to this report.