The world’s feeling ominous for several reasons these days, but for women, things are pretty scary regarding one issue in particular: abortion rights. The right to choose no longer exists in several red states (and counting) after frontrunners Texas and Oklahoma essentially outlawed abortion (through a weasel-y civil method) by putting a bounty on the head of anyone who helps a woman get an abortion. Following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, the situation grew more dire when states like Missouri decided to place a ban on out-of-state travel for the residents to obtain the medical procedure, and that’s leaving some women with very little choice in the matter.
Employers have been stepping up to fill the gaps and pledge to protect their employees. That’s translated into policies to help fund out-of-state travel for abortions, and some legal assistance, but Hollywood studios initially stayed very quiet. Then last week, a group of 400+ female showrunners came together to call studios and press them to enact protective policies. Now, an even greater number of male showrunners have stepped up in solidarity. Variety has the official roster of names, which seemingly spans time, space, and genre. Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams, Taika Waititi, Elgin James, Kurt Sutter, Kenya Barris, Lamorne Morris, D.B. Weiss, David E. Kelley, Rian Johnson, Greg Berliani — the list goes on and on with a few notable omissions (no Joss Whedon or Nic Pizzolatto). The letter’s short and sweet and begins as follows:
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR FEMALE, TRANS & NON-BINARY SHOWRUNNER COLLEAGUES
In demanding a coordinated and timely response from our employers regarding the imminent workplace-safety crisis created by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Abortion access doesn’t only affect people who can become pregnant. It affects us all.
You can see the full list of male showrunners here, and now, the nearly 1000 total names demand that studios consider the issue to be an “emergency” not only in Texas and Oklahoma but also Georgia, and Louisiana, all of which have gone back into the 1960s with various “heartbeat”-related restrictions and very few exceptions (not even rape in Texas) to allow a woman to abort a fetus. These letters shall likely do nothing to change states’ minds, but at least workers won’t have to worry as much about safety, protection, and logistics during their time of need.