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California Gov. Newsom asks Hollywood to stop filming in conservative states

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — 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.

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 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.

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

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