A group of 411 TV showrunners, creators and writers sent letters to executives at streaming platforms and other major Hollywood companies to demand better protections for workers in anti-abortion states. "We have grave concerns about the lack of specific production protocols in place to protect those at work for Netflix in anti-abortion states," they wrote in a letter to Netflix. “It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment.”
Similar letters, which were first reported on by Variety, were addressed to the likes of Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Paramount, Lionsgate, Amazon and AMC. The signatories include well-known creators, such as Issa Rae, Lilly Wachowski, Lena Waithe, Amy Schumer, Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, Ava DuVernay and Lena Dunham. They're demanding specific safety measures for people working on productions in states that have banned abortion after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month.
The group has demanded that the companies respond with details on their abortion safety plans within 10 days. Among other things, the writers want information on abortion travel subsidies, medical care for pregnancy complications (including ectopic pregnancies) and legal protections for workers who uphold a studio's abortion policies or help someone else obtain an abortion. They also implored the companies to immediately halt “all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees."
A Bloomberg report this week noted that studios are spending billions on productions in states that have banned or restricted abortions, though many were already filming before the Supreme Court decision in late June. Georgia, for instance, offers generous tax credits to productions, which has helped the state become a TV and film powerhouse. Last week, a law came into effect in the state. It essentially banned most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before many people know whether they're pregnant.