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Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo’s Vision for Equity and Diversity in Hollywood Is Signed Into Law by Governor Newsom

Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature of SB 144, legislation ensures that California’s historic expansion of the Television and Film Tax Credit will support equity and diversity workforce development plans.

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Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo’s Vision for Equity and Diversity in Hollywood Is Signed Into Law by Governor Newsom

(Los Angeles, CA) – Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 144 (Portantino, Burke, Carrillo) into law this afternoon at Sunset Gower Studios, thereby authorizing the state to leverage its record 2021-22 State Budget with a $330 million investment in California’s Television and Film Tax Credit to build more sound stages to meet production needs, retain and bring jobs back to the State, institutionalize incentives for productions that meet below-the-line and/or above-the-line equity efforts, and ensures that the Film Tax Commission that oversees productions who benefit from tax credits has the authority necessary to collect data on workforce development.

“California’s iconic entertainment industry is a point of pride that creates important revenue and opportunity for workers, businesses and communities across the state. Today’s investments ensure film and television production will continue to fuel the California Comeback through thousands of good jobs right here in the Golden State, training opportunities to increase access, and a focus on fostering diversity and inclusion for a workforce that better reflects our vibrant communities.” - Governor Gavin Newsom.

“SB 144 is historic legislation that ties the expanded TV & Film Tax Credit in the California State Budget to equity workforce plans and incentives to be more reflective of the people of the state. This agreement encompases efforts to expand production, bring projects back to the state, and deliver equity in both above-the-line and below-the-line industry jobs. Film and television are part of California’s DNA and representation matters. Audiences reward diverse productions financially, and above and below the line workers spend their earnings in the communities where they live. Diversifying the workforce means bringing equity to the economy, and strengthening the tax base. California is a world leader in the entertainment industry and public dollars can and should be used to create great middle class union jobs right here at home that ensure a California For All.”- Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (AD-51, Los Angeles)

“I am grateful for Governor Newsom’s leadership and for his commitment to keeping and expanding film and TV production where it belongs. Entertainment content is a core economic driver for California and a big part of my district’s vitality. Investing in new soundstage construction is a critical addition to our efforts to increase filming in the Golden State. Modernizing our studio infrastructure will ensure that future entertainment careers will flourish here and generations of people from across the country will continue to see our state as the entertainment capital of the world.” - Senator Anthony Portantino (SD-25, Burbank)

“California's film tax credit generates economic activity worth more than seven times the investment California has made in the industry.  SB 144 helps further the efforts of addressing black under-representation in the film industry, while keeping Californians employed and families together. I’m proud to be a co-author of this measure and I thank my colleagues and the Governor for their commitment to preserving this industry in our state.” - Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke (AD-62, Inglewood)

“The Hollywood tax credit will spur hundreds of millions of dollars of construction at our world famous entertainment studios providing opportunities for our diverse apprentices, 72 percent of whom are people of color. And this credit will take the additional step of creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented young people to learn to be the next generation of TV and film producers. We are pleased to have worked with Assemblywoman Carrillo and Senator Portantino to support opportunities for all Californians.“ - Robbie Hunter, President, State Building and Construction Trades Council

“The Entertainment Union Coalition thanks Assemblymember Carrillo for her commitment to the working women and men of the entertainment industry. As a co-author of SB 144 her advocacy has ensured that the legislation contains strong diversity and inclusion agreements that will mean, as work grows, it reflects the faces of California.“ - Kathy Garmezy, California IATSE Council & Entertainment Union Coalition, representing members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, LiUNA! Local 724 and Teamsters Local 399.

“The bill Governor Newsom signed today builds on the success of California’s Film & Television Production Tax Credit program and ensures that the film, television and streaming industry continues to be a vibrant part of California’s economy. SB 144 preserves both recurring and relocating television and streaming series, creates a new program that incentivizes private investment in construction of soundstages and establishes new benchmarks and commitments on diversity. We are grateful for the partnership between the Governor and Legislature and to the MPA’s entertainment union and guild partners, as well as the building and construction trade unions for their commitment to growing entertainment production.” - Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association

“For far too long, many state governments have given generous tax breaks to the film industry, only to see their Latino residents largely excluded from job opportunities. However, taxpayers should not subsidize their own exclusion in this industry – especially in a state like California where Latinos make up almost 40% of the population. Thanks to Assemblywoman Carrillo, California's new film tax credit will now be directly connected to companies’ plans to ensure their workforce reflects the diversity of our communities. This reform is a good step in the right direction to incentivize greater inclusion. I commend California Assemblywoman Carrillo for her diligent work to improve diversity in Hollywood and to get this important legislation signed into law by Governor Newsom. My hope is that other states will advance similar changes to their film tax credits, and I will continue to champion this cause so the Latino story is told and all Americans are represented.” - Congressman Joaquin Castro, (TX-20, San Antonio)

SB 144 (Portantino, Carrillo, Burke) expands the allocation available under California’s Television and Film Tax Credit 3.0, establishes a new credit for qualified motion pictures produced on a certified studio construction project, and increases the credit percentage when specified diversity goals are met.

The film and television industry in California provides more than 134,000 production-related jobs, over 83,000 jobs related to distribution and over 643,000 jobs created by related vendors and businesses. The Film and Television Tax Credit Program has provided $335 million to 48 projects since the start of the pandemic. Twenty-seven television series have relocated to California from other states and nations since the program’s launch in 2009.

According to an Otis College of Art and Design study, the state’s creative industries support 2.68 million jobs, generate $209.6 billion in labor income and provide an annual $650 billion boost to the Golden State’s economy. More than 1 million workers are directly employed in California’s creative industries and another 1.6 million indirect jobs support those operations, the study said. That accounts for 15.4% of the state’s overall employment. In Los Angeles County, creative industries account for an even bigger 16.3% of the total job base. According to a McKinsey and Company study, Hollywood’s lack of diversity is costing it $10 billion a year in revenue. It found that BIPOC stories are consistently underfunded and undervalued, despite having a higher rate of return per dollar than other properties. Center for Scholars and Storytellers researchers estimate that large-budget films – those totaling $159 million or more – incur a significant loss in opening weekend box-office revenues when there is little racial, cultural or other diversity among cast and crew. A $159 million movie, they predict, will lose $32.2 million in the first weekend, approximately 20% of its budget, with a potential overall loss of $130 million – a staggering 82% in total.

UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report researchers note that white film directors were more than twice as likely as minority directors to helm a film with a budget of $100 million or more – 6.4% versus 2.8%. Women and BIPOC were more likely to direct films that fell into the lowest budget category of less than $20 million. For films directed by BIPOC, 72.3% had budgets less than $20 million, compared to 60% for white directors. It was about the same for films directed by women. Of those, 74.3% had budgets that were less than $20 million, compared to 59.2% for directors who were men. Along those same lines, films with minority leads and BIPOC writers also trended toward lower budgets. The report also found:

  • Among white, Black and Middle Eastern or Northern African actors, women were significantly underrepresented in the top films of 2020, compared to men from those groups.
  • Among Latino, Asian, multiracial and Native actors, women either approached parity with their male counterparts or exceeded it in films of 2020.
  • The most underrepresented groups in all job categories, relative to their presence in the U.S., are Latino, Asian and Native actors, directors and writers.

About Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (AD-51)

Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo was elected as the representative of the 51st Assembly District in December of 2017. She is the Chair of Budget SubCommittee #4 on State Administration, and a member of the Appropriations, Budget, Health, Privacy and Consumer Protection, and Utilities and Energy Committees, as well as Chair of the Uplifting Girls and Women of Color in California Select Committee. Assemblywoman Carrillo represents the people of East Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles, and the neighborhoods of El Sereno, Echo Park, Lincoln Heights, Chinatown and parts of Silver Lake.