State Laws/Franchising

New York Backs TV Production Tax Break for Hiring Diverse Writers, Directors

Union-supported bill still needs governor's sign-off 6/22/2017 11:26 AM Eastern
The New York state capitol in Albany

The New York State legislature has passed a bill that would provide tax incentives for hiring diverse writers and directors for TV productions in New York, according to the unions that have been pushing the legislation.

The bill was backed by the Writers Guild of America, East (based in New York) and the Directors Guild of America.

Related > The Production Issue

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo still needs to approve the new tax credit, and it must be included in the state budget, but the passage was a milestone being hailed by WGAE and DGA.

"People in the TV industry have understood for years that enhancing the diversity of writing and directing improves the stories that appear on screen,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of WGAE in a joint statement. “The missing link for policymakers has been putting money at the point of hire, and this legislation is an important step in that direction.”

Neil Dudich, eastern executive director of the DGA, said: "For years the DGA has pushed the industry to change their imbalanced hiring practices -- so that talent, and talent alone, is the defining factor. 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."

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