Newsom Asks Hollywood to Stop Filming in Conservative States

SACRAMENTO >> Widening his attack on Republican states for their positions on guns, civil rights and abortion, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California on Wednesday called on Hollywood to “walk the walk” on liberal values by bringing back their film and television productions from states such as Georgia and Oklahoma.

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Newsom issued the challenge through an ad in Variety that asked the state’s left-leaning creative community to “take stock of your values — and those of your employees — when doing business in those states.”

The Democratic governor on Wednesday simultaneously endorsed a legislative proposal that would provide a $1.65 billion, five-year extension of California’s film and television production tax credit program.

It marked the second time in recent weeks that Newsom has used California legislation as a cudgel to rip Republican leaders elsewhere. Last month, he signed a bill allowing residents to sue makers of illegal guns and took the opportunity to rebuke Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas for previously enabling its residents to sue abortion providers.

Newsom’s statements on Wednesday underscored the pressure that intensifying culture wars have placed on U.S. corporations, particularly in states where the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade has severely constrained reproductive rights for women.

Some of the country’s biggest businesses, including the Walt Disney Co., Netflix and Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, have announced programs to help employees who need abortion access but cannot obtain it in their home states. Hundreds of entertainment figures also have denounced policies in Republican-led states that have weakened safeguards for LGBTQ people. Last week, some 400 television creators and showrunners publicly demanded that production companies protect pregnant employees in states where abortion is outlawed.

But entertainment companies have not yet announced major plans to cancel expansions or relocate offices. “Tulsa King,” Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming crime drama starring Sylvester Stallone, has been filming this summer for Paramount+ in Oklahoma.

In Georgia on Monday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced that film and television productions generated $4.4 billion in the state this fiscal year, a new record. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was filmed in the state, the governor noted, as was the fourth season of “Stranger Things.”

“I was happy to name Gavin Newsom Oklahoma’s Economic Developer of the Year Award in 2021 and I’m glad to see he’s making a run for two years in a row,” Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma joked in a statement on Wednesday. Stitt took a similar jab at the California governor last year in reference to the state’s pandemic shutdowns, which Stitt said drove business to his state.

The Motion Picture Association, the trade group representing major film studios and Netflix, declined to comment on Wednesday.

Newsom has been in the thick of that power struggle for months, trolling DeSantis on Twitter and inviting Disney to rethink its Florida investments. The Variety ad was the latest in a series of initiatives by Newsom to take his defense of “California values” onto a national stage.

A $105,000 spot that ran in Florida last month — attacking DeSantis and inviting Florida businesses to come to California — was the opening salvo in a national effort by Newsom that has included newspaper ads in Texas attacking Abbott on abortion restrictions and a highly publicized trip to Washington, D.C., to discuss, among other things, gun legislation.

In widening his attacks to include Oklahoma and Georgia, Newsom targeted not only two of California’s most aggressive rivals for film, television and other content production but two of the nation’s most conservative states on social issues.

Oklahoma, which aggressively ramped up film production incentives during the pandemic, has banned nearly all abortions since the Roe v. Wade reversal. And Georgia, which has one of the nation’s most generous packages of film production incentives, has granted fetuses full legal recognition. This week, a Georgia tax agency found that pregnant women could take a $3,000 personal tax exemption for any fetus with a detectable heartbeat.

Newsom noted that California’s abortion rights are among the most secure in the nation. The state has also enacted some of the nation’s toughest laws on gun safety and civil liberties for LGBTQ people.

Click here to read the full article in the New York Times


  1. JimNorCal says

    Does Newsom EVER walk the walk in his personal life?
    From sending his kids to private school while public schools were shut down … to his winery staying open when so many small businesses were shut down from Covid … to his unmasked fancy schmancy birthday dinner gifted by a friendly oil lobbyist … to his recent trip to conservative Montana with paid CA police escort provided despite CA directive to NOT spend any money in Montana and a list of other states that do not “comply” with CAs bizarre patchwork of moral strictures, with all this WHO IS THIS GUY to tell anyone how to live their life or run their business?

  2. I think they just need to shut down the communist fascist movie industry all together. Most are just left-wing overpaid elitist pigs and sluts. And if you think Mr Wonderful is a screwed up governor now, telling people what they can do and can’t do against our constitutiona, just think how controlling a dictator he will be if he becomes our next president. Don’t worry, that will only happen if there’s more voter fraud……, what are the odds!!!

  3. Kimberly Almand says

    I’d be out of Ca. in a split second if I was not so old. To move is a major event.
    Newscum is a hypocrite. The only chance we have is to vote him out. Why would ANYBODY want to live with him in charge of your life. We are a free country…let’s keep it this way.

    • sweetsuzee says

      Same here. Too old and too sickly. God help us though since this state is so BLUE it makes me cry. How did we let this happen? Better yet, why did we let this happen?

    • Lawrence Thibault says

      Age isn’t the problem, the kids live here as do the grandkids so the wife won’t move. Lets vote him out and all of the politicians that don’t or can’t read the Constitution. I’m fed up!!!!

  4. We had our chance of voting out this Clairol Kid a$$hole.Too many dumb sheeple in the ranks. I’m also too old Kimberly. Hope the people wise up but…….

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