Hundreds of top showrunners, including Shonda Rhimes and Issa Rae, are advocating against the overturn of Roe v. Wade. They’re demanding for safety protocols in anti-abortion states where major studios are hosting production. Variety reports at least 400 top showrunners joined forces to protect the people working in production. The letter reads, “It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment.”
Rhimes and Rae linked up with other TV powerhouses including Ava DuVernay, Amy Schumer, Robin Thede and more. The letter continues, “This situation raises basic matters of equality, health, and safety in the workplace. Many of us would not have the careers and families we have today if we had not been granted the freedom to choose what was best for ourselves. We are committed, as a group, to protecting our fundamental human rights and those of our colleagues.”
The letter was sent to Netflix, Paramount, Lionsgate, Amazon and AMC. The companies are expected to respond in “ten business days” of July 28 with their abortion safety plans and processes. One part of the suggested plan urges employers to publish “policies and procedures to provide an abortion travel subsidy for employees of your productions, including specific information on how the employee’s medical privacy will be safeguarded.” In addition to detailing an emergency plan, the showrunners want the companies to “pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately.”
The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in May. The decision was previously upheld in 1992 following the case Planned Parenthood v Casey. Out of nine of the Supreme Court members, there are only three liberal Democratic justices. Justice Amy Coney Barrett has long been an outspoken critic of the law. At least nine states banned abortions including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri. Texas banned abortion at and after six weeks in 2021, sparking widespread backlash from celebrities including Megan Thee Stallion.