Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay, Natasha Lyonne, and many, many more TV showrunners and creators are demanding media companies take a stand in anti-abortion states. Over 400 TV creatives have signed a letter sent to the brass at Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Apple, and others, calling on the organizations to enact specific protective measures for pregnant employees in states where, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, abortion has been criminalized. Variety published the letter sent to Netflix.
“It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment,” it reads. “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.”
Rachel Bloom, Amy Schumer, Nahnatchka Khan, and Tanya Saracho are also among the signatories. Earlier this week, another signatory, “P-Valley” creator Katori Hall, urged her fellow creatives to tell more stories about abortion in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter.
Within 10 days of the letter’s July 28 delivery, the signatory collective requires review of the companies’ “abortion safety plans.” These protocols must include an abortion travel subsidy for employees, including specifics on how their medical privacy will be ensured; an outline of the scope of medical care, including instances of ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and other medical treatment that necessitates abortion; and a criminal and civil legal protection policy for employees seeking an abortion. The signatories also demand the companies stop making political donations to any anti-abortion candidates or PACs.
“The letter stopped short of saying what will happen if these companies don’t comply with the demands, but any potential boycotts from top talent would surely spell disaster,” Variety notes. Check out the source for the collective’s full letter and list of signatories.
It remains to be seen how the companies addressed will respond. In 2019, several media companies spoke out against Georgia’s anti-abortion “heartbeat bill,” and some even suggested they would stop making projects in the state — but those were mostly empty gestures. Reed Morano and Kristen Wiig, however, actually did pull projects that were set to film in Georgia.
This past fall, Women and Hollywood and studios such as Oscilloscope Laboratories, Magnolia Pictures, Obscured Pictures, and Level Forward signed Peace is Loud’s open letter in support of abortion access.