Since her proposed “sex strike” failed to keep pro-life states from passing several bills either banning or strictly limiting the cruel practice of abortion, actress Alyssa Milano has now created a tool that will help filmmakers determine where they should and should not film potential projects.
In a mission statement exclusively shared with Variety, Alyssa Milano and fellow activist Ben Jackson said the new survey will enable production companies to select states and locations that give helpful tax credits while being supposedly “safe” places for women to work.
“Following the passage of a number of draconian attacks on a pregnant person’s right to choose in 2019, including those in states in which the motion picture and television industries conduct significant business, it has become apparent that those in our industry need to be able to make informed choices,” the mission statement said.
The state-by-state abortion map took a month for the actress to assemble in cooperation with the National Assn. for the Repeal of Abortion Laws and the political encyclopedia Ballotpedia. The states have been color-coded according to the threat-level of anti-abortion laws, ranging from “most threatened” to “under threat” to “least threatened.” From Variety:
In Colorado, for instance, productions get a 20% tax credit on qualified expenditures as long as 50% of crew members are state residents. Colorado also has no major pending abortion laws or existing bans, so that state gets a “least threatened” grade. Florida, on the other hand, has introduced the notion of a six-week abortion ban and currently has no tax incentive for film and TV. The survey looks exclusively at abortion law, though other human rights issues like LGBTQ equality have previously threatened production in places like North Carolina.
Milano will also be working in concert with Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to develop a mobile app that will enable film location scouts in Georgia to avoid conservative areas, or places that the actress says will “fund voter suppression, inequality and the stripping away of anyone’s rights.”
“I asked if there was a version we could create with maps to the block of people that support a progressive policy, versus homes that are supporting a hurtful policy,” Milano said. “Can we use these to pinpoint in red states where it is safe for productions to spend their money? She thought it was a brilliant idea.”
Milano claims her idea for the app came while shooting the show “Insatiable” this past month outside of Atlanta, where producers rented a house from a conservative homeowner.
“I walk into this house that someone owns and rents out for production, and in front of the sink is a ‘Brian Kemp for Governor’ kitchen mat,’” she said. “So I think to myself, every time we shoot on location outside of Atlanta, we are funding a hurtful policy.”
“The original idea was to prevent Gov. Kemp from signing this bill,” she said of her efforts. “We in the entertainment industry pride ourselves on inclusivity, equality and choice. All of these really symbolic, important things that we understand become a beacon for the country to follow suit,” she concluded, noting that her research helps serve “this very tricky balance of not wanting to ever cause families harm in the state of Georgia, but being aware enough to know that the only thing that changes the state of policy is usually money.”