Hollywood studios have ignored a demand from more than 1,500 TV showrunners, writers, and directors urging the companies to commit to “abortion safety protocols,” as well as to promise to stop donating to pro-life political candidates.
Instead of addressing the specific demands, studios including Disney, Netflix, Amazon, and NBCUniversal issued a vaguely worded joint statement this week that recommended talent defer to their relevant union health plans.
The studios said they are “continuing to evaluate ways that we can best provide for our employees and workers who support our productions.”
In their statement, the companies mostly avoided addressing the specific demands, which include commitments to providing abortion travel subsidies for employees as well as criminal and civil legal protection for employees.
Also among the demands is a “pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately.”
“It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment,” the showrunners and directors said. “This situation raises basic matters of equality, health, and safety in the workplace.”
Among the hundreds of TV showrunners, writers, and directors who signed the letters are mega-producers J.J. Abrams, Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy, and Mindy Kaling.
Some studios have already committed to one of their demands.
As Breitbart News reported, several studios including Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery have vowed to pay travel expenses for employees looking to get abortions. As some commentators have noted, paying for an employee’s abortion is cheaper for a corporation than the costs and lost productivity associated with maternity leave.
Hollywood’s panic comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s historic overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Georgia and Louisiana still rank among Hollywood’s top filming destinations due to their lucrative tax incentives that studios are reluctant to give up. Both states have recently enacted abortion restrictions, with Louisiana making all abortions illegal in the state.
In Georgia, a federal judge recently ruled that the state’s fetal heartbeat law can take effect, which would outlaw abortion after six weeks.