The New York state legislature has passed a new law allocating up to $5 million in tax credits meant to encourage operators of a qualified film production company to hire women and people of color as TV writers and directors.
Senate Bill S4999D passed 38 to 24 on Wednesday and adds an additional $5 million in tax incentives on top of New York’s existing budget allotment of $420 million in TV and film tax credits.
“People in the TV industry have understood for years that enhancing the diversity of writing and directing improves the stories that appear onscreen,” Writers Guild of America, East executive director Lowell Peterson said, according to Deadline. “The missing link for policymakers has been putting money at the point of hire, and this legislation is an important step in that direction.”
The bill had received support from the Directors Guild of America, whose Eastern executive director, Neil Dudich, said, “For years the DGA has pushed the industry to change their imbalanced hiring practices — so that talent, and talent alone, is the defining factor.”
“By encouraging studios, networks and producers to discover the talented New York TV directors and writers that are out there in abundance, this bill can be a meaningful step forward in establishing a level playing field for all,” Dudich added.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law, which will allow appropriation of the new funding.
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