Hey, Hollywood, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

May 30, 2019

by Rob Roper

Several entertainment producers, including Netflix, Warner Brothers, and Disney, are threatening to remove production of their programs from Georgia over that state’s pending law to ban abortion after the presence of a fetal heartbeat. Agree or disagree with their positions, doing so is their right. So, Phil, Mitzi, and Tim, why not give them a formal invitation to come start filming in Vermont?

Our legislature just passed what has been described as the most radical pro-abortion legislation — plus a potential constitutional amendment – in the nation. If pro-life legislation is a motivating factor in leaving someplace shouldn’t pro-abortion legislation be a factor in moving to someplace if your goal is to make a political point?

According to a report in MarketWatch, “[Georgia] state officials estimate that 455 film and projects were completed in Georgia last year, pumping $9.5 billion into the local economy, including $2.7 billion in direct spending.” Imagine what bringing just a handful of those projects to Vermont could do for our economy.

One of the most high profile shows in question is Ozark, starring Jason Bateman, which takes place in Osage Beach in rural Missouri. We’ve got plenty of forests, farms, economically distressed communities, and a big lake! I’m sure we could rustle up a riverboat too if that’s necessary to seal the deal. Vermont would be perfect.

What Vermont does not have, unlike Georgia, is generous tax breaks designed to attract film and television production. But, hey, can you put a price on social activism? How about shouldering a little sacrifice for a cause you really believe in. And this is Bernie’s Vermont, after all, so you know your hard earned tax dollars will be well spent, right?

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

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