The letter reads in part:
“We have grave concerns about the lack of specific production protocols in place to protect those at work for Netflix in anti-abortion states.
“It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment. This situation raises basic matters of equality, health, and safety in the workplace. Many of us would not have the careers and families we have today if we had not been granted the freedom to choose what was best for ourselves. We are committed, as a group, to protecting our fundamental human rights and those of our colleagues.”
The letter gave a 10-day deadline; that day has come and gone.
The Root reports that the studios also failed to address the demand that creatives end “all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately” as well as “criminal and civil indemnification for anyone helping an employee obtain an abortion.”
The studios’ and streamers' response in full is:
“Thank you for your letter of July 28, 2022. We share your concerns around the health, safety, and well-being of our dedicated employees and the people who support our productions. We believe they should have access to safe and effective health care, and their privacy should be protected.
“Each of our individually designed corporate health plans provides comprehensive health care coverage for our respective employees. We have been independently updating our respective employees – who live and work throughout the country – as plans and policies change and expand to provide reproductive care and other support now needed in states that have restricted or outlawed abortion access.
“Most workers on scripted film and TV productions are covered by industry health plans that are jointly administered by union and management trustees under the collective bargaining framework. In partnership with various industry health plan staff and the union trustees on those plans, our management trustees worked swiftly to review existing health benefits, and several of these industry health plans have already adopted amendments providing for reimbursement for travel expenses associated with securing abortion services for participants and their dependents who reside or work in states where such services cannot be lawfully obtained. We understand the other industry health plans will be considering similar changes this month. The participants in the various industry plans have been receiving communications directly from the plans about these amendments.
“We are pleased that our industry partners have quickly addressed this important issue and are committed to continuing to evaluate ways that we can best provide for our employees and workers who support our productions.
“We want to assure you that we are individually focused on supporting the health, safety, well-being and privacy of our respective employees and those who support our productions as we continue to monitor this evolving situation. We look forward to working with you to continue to make great content for our audiences around the world.”
The letter was signed by AMC Networks, Amazon Studios, Apple TV+, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, The Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Discovery.
Meanwhile, as Daily Kos reported, Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed a bill that would extend the state’s film and TV tax credit program through 2030 and provide $1.65 billion ($330 million per year) to content creators who work in the state. A push that aligns with a bill his appeal to the entertainment industry to stay out of states such as Georgia for their projects given the continued right-leaning political climate—particularly when it comes to abortion care.