Over 400 TV Writers Demand Protections in Anti-Abortion States - Rolling Stone
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Issa Rae, Shonda Rhimes, and Over 400 TV Writers Call for Studios to Offer Protection in Anti-Abortion States

“We have grave concerns about the lack of specific production protocols in place to protect those at work for Netflix in anti-abortion states,” the letter read

Issa RaeIssa Rae

Issa Rae at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on March 27, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Lee Vuitton/AM PR Group via Getty Images

The women and birth-giving people of Hollywood are standing together to demand better protections from the executives at their studios. On Thursday, 411 TV writers — including A-listers like Issa Rae, Sara Bareilles, and Shonda Rhimes — signed a letter demanding protocols to protect pregnant employees when working in anti-abortion states following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“We have grave concerns about the lack of specific production protocols in place to protect those at work for Netflix in anti-abortion states,” the letter sent to Netflix, obtained by Variety, read. “It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment. This situation raises basic matters of equality, health, and safety in the workplace.”

The letter, signed by the likes of Natasha Lyonne, Ava DuVernay, and Amy Sherman-Palladino, was sent to high-level executives at companies, including Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, and Apple. (None immediately responded to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.)

The group wrote that they were committed “to protecting our fundamental human rights and those of our colleagues.”

“Currently, any pregnant person working on one of your productions in states that have criminalized abortion does so at great risk,” the letter read. “It is important that Netflix understands these risks and has comprehensive solutions in place.”

The letter demanded that the studios update their policies and processes to protect the health of those who can get pregnant and “defend our human rights.” The letter called for a response within ten days.

Among the demands is that the studios publish procedures to provide a travel subsidy for employees who need it, outline the medical care available for employees when it comes to pregnancies, and provide “policy regarding criminal and civil legal protection.”

The group also asked that the companies “pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately.”

The letter comes weeks after the Supreme Court overturned protections for those seeking abortions, allowing states to decide their own protocols when it comes to abortion access. Some states such as Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma outright made abortions illegal.

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