A total of 549 male showrunners, including Jordan Peele (director of the Oscar-winning film “Get Out”) and Donald Glover (creator of hit show “Atlanta”), signed an open letter supporting their female colleagues as they push for protection of abortion rights in the film and TV industry. Earlier, 411 show creators, showrunners and head writers signed several letters, dated July 28, 2022, sent to entertainment conglomerates to fix what they called lack of clear policies protecting pregnant women, and those who are considering to abort a pregnancy. The July 28 letters were signed by women — to which Variety commented, “Some readers on social media had a question: Where are the men?”
This week, the men of show business stepped up and penned an open letter showing solidarity, and calling for protection of abortion rights for workers in the entertainment industry. Also named as signatories of the open letter are Cheo Hodari Coker (producer for “Southland”), Kenya Barris (writer for the comedy “Black-ish”), Larry Wilmore (cocreator of “Insecure”), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (producer for “Outer Range”), Devon Shepard (producer for “Weeds”), and Joshua Allen (winner of “So You Think You Can Dance” season 4).
“We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with our female, trans, and non-binary showrunner colleagues,” the open letter reads. “In demanding a coordinated and timely response from our employers regarding the imminent workplace-safety crisis created by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.” The letter continues to assert that access to abortion does not only affect women, but everyone.
Meanwhile, the original letter signed by the 411 drove into specifics on what they wanted from the entertainment companies. “Within ten business days of today we require review of your current abortion safety plan detailing Netflix’s policies and processes to ensure our safety, protect our health and defend our human rights. We expect that the specifics of your current plan address this emergency in full,” the letter addressed to Netflix reads. While the ones addressed to the other companies are not publicly available, Variety reports that similar letters were sent to Paramount, Lionsgate, Amazon and AMC. The 411 creators, producers and writers demanded that the companies review, implement, and publish policies: abortion travel subsidy, medical care covering pregnancy complications, medical privacy safeguards, and legal protection for employees seeking abortion. The letter also demanded for a “pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees.”