Hundreds Of TV Showrunners/Producers Are Demanding Major Studios Keep Production Staff And Cast Safe In Anti-Abortion States

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs which stripped away Constitutional protections for those needing an abortion, several large companies have signaled that they will pay for their employees in states where abortion is illegal to travel to states where it is. It’s a kind of cultural bandage of a judicial bullet hole, not barring the dicey arena of having to tell your boss that you need an abortion in order to get time off and reimbursement. It’s all messy, and a group of 411 major TV creatives have sent a letter to all the major production houses asking that they make things clearer.

The letter, obtained by Variety, is signed by a slew of producers and head writers, from Shonda Rhimes to Carrie Brownstein to Diablo Cody to Natasha Lyonne to Ava Duvernay. It is, quite simply, an assembly of size and importance that cannot be ignored. The demands that they sent to Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros., and more are as follows:

“● Published policies and procedures to provide an abortion travel subsidy for employees of your productions including specific information on how the employee’s medical privacy will be safeguarded.
● Protocols outlining the scope of medical care for employees of your productions, including ectopic pregnancies and other pregnancy complications that require medical treatment via abortion while working for Netflix.
● Policy regarding criminal and civil legal protection, including indemnification and defense against liability, for any member of a production who facilitates Netflix’s protocols or provides Netflix’s policy information and guidelines to an employee seeking an abortion.
● Pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately.”

The undersigned are giving ten business days to have written responses returned, although it’s not specified what will happen if those demands are not met within that timeframe. It’s an urgent need because many productions are currently taking place in states where abortion is illegal already or may soon be. That includes Georgia, which is a hot spot for major productions and whose 6-week fetal heartbeat law is on the books and being challenged.

The notable absence on the roster? Men. It’s not like there are only a handful; there are none. It’s possible that the letter was designed by its writers to be that way, but, if not, it’s a bizarre black eye to women who should not be fighting this fight alone. The full roster of signees can be seen at Variety, but if you can think up a (female) name, you’re almost sure to find it there.