New York is a step closer to awarding diversity in entertainment.
Yesterday, the New York state legislature passed a bill that would create a tax incentive program for television projects, filmed in the state, that hire producers, writers and/or directors that are women and/or person of color. Shows such as Law & Order, Quantico & Orange Is The New Black will be credited financially and receive a tax credit of up to 5 million dollars for their diverse production teams. The bill is backed up by both the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America. The two guilds recruited state Senator Marisol Alcantara and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo to help bring the bill to the right places within the assembly.
…And while the industry has made some strides on representation in front of the camera, diversity behind the camera is still sorely lacking. I think the overall quality of television, the different kinds of stories that can be told, the overall landscape of the art form will benefit greatly from having opportunities for diverse people to tell their stories. – Senator Marisol Alcantara to Buzzfeed News
The next steps include a signature from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and finding a way to be included in the state budget for this to become official law. If the bill makes through these processes, it will be the first of it’s kind. A similar bill had made it through the ranks last year in NY but due to the state’s lack of a reconciliation process, it never made to the governor’s desk.
“By encouraging studios, networks and producers to discover the talented New York TV directors and writers that are out there in abundance, this bill can be a meaningful step forward in establishing a level playing field for all.” – Neil Dudich, DGA’s Eastern executive director.
A similar bill in California is being drafted for their state assembly as well.