TV creators including Mindy Kaling & Shonda Rhimes request abortion protection plan

In the month since SCOTUS decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, celebrities have been speaking out against the decision and in support of abortion rights. Many have shared personal stories, donations, and resources for abortion protection. Now, more than 400 TV creators, showrunners, and head writers have penned an open letter to TV studios and executives requesting abortion protections for staff in anti-abortion states.

Hollywood is taking a stand for safe access to abortion.

More than 400 TV creators, showrunners and head writers signed an open letter to the industry’s top executives, outlining specific steps to protect pregnant employees in states where abortion is outlawed following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn 1973’s 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,” they wrote in the letter, which was shared by Variety.

Although the letter was addressed to Netflix, others were sent to Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Apple, Paramount, Lionsgate, Amazon and AMC, according to the publication, demanding to review their “policies and processes to ensure our safety, protect our health and defend our human rights.”

Representatives for Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Apple, Paramount, Lionsgate, Amazon and AMC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

The letter called for an “abortion safety plan” that prioritized abortion travel subsidy, employee medical privacy safeguards, medical care protocols, criminal and civil protection and a “pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately.”

“It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment,” they wrote, in part. “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 continued.

The list of signatures includes Pamela Adlon, Sara Bareilles, Vanessa Bayer, Lake Bell, Rachel Bloom, Carrie Brownstein, Diablo Cody, Whitney Cummings, Lena Dunham, Ava DuVernay, Maya Erskine, Bridget Everett, Chelsea Handler, Abbi Jacobson, Mindy Kaling, Anna Konkle, Natasha Lyonne, Issa Rae, Shonda Rhimes, Amy Schumer, Lilly Wachowski, Lena Waithe and more.

Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery and Comcast (which owns NBC Universal) have previously shown their support for employees amid the ruling, outlining their respective benefits that provide access to abortion.

[From People]

The letter was published in its entirety in Variety and copies were sent to Netflix, Disney, Warner Brothers, NBC, etc, all the major studios. It was signed by heavy-hitters and prolific producers like Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Ava DuVernay, Diablo Cody, Chelsea Handler, and 400 others. The letter requests that the companies review and share their current plan within 10 days of receiving the letter and specifies what categories of care and protection for employees the response should cover, including: travel subsidies and protecting medical privacy, the scope of medical care, criminal and civil legal protection, and a cessation of political donations to anti-abortion candidates and PACs. Considering that there are a lot of logistical and medical privacy questions around employers who say they will support and subsidize abortion rights for their staff in anti-abortion states, it’s good the letter specifically called out those as points to be addressed. And the political donation point is very important because often corporations have inclusive messaging, but then turn around and donate to the exact people trying to take away rights. Variety notes: “The letter stopped short of saying what will happen if these companies don’t comply with the demands, but any potential boycotts from top talent would surely spell disaster.” Looking at the list of signatories, I imagine the companies will want to comply.

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6 Responses to “TV creators including Mindy Kaling & Shonda Rhimes request abortion protection plan”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Over 500 male showrunners signed a letter supporting this one from the 411 female showrunners. The solidarity is impressive and important. I wish it had gone farther and stated these showrunners would pull their shows from these states or not work with studios that continue to do business in the slave states, but let’s see what the studios do. Also, I very much wish there had been this amount of solidarity among showrunners, male and female, Black, white, AAPI, Indigenous, etc., for voting rights. That there wasn’t tells me something too.

  2. Roop says:

    This is great! I’m so proud of these women for standing up for women’s healthcare rights.

    But you know what would have been really nice? To see some mens’ names on the list. Why is it up to women to ensure healthcare for women after they’ve had sex with a man? God I wish that more men were as engaged in this as women are.

  3. Lou says:

    This is cool and all, but I can’t help but feel extremely sad that we’re now looking to our employers for support on this issue, and involving them in private medical decisions.

    Roe overturning is a complete failure of government at the local and national level. Asking corporations to protect us adds more dependence on them at a time when we should be working toward universal healthcare.

    I understand this is what Mindy & co. feel they can do immediately, but it’s sad to see the fallout of losing our rights.

    • Both Sides Now says:

      At least they are taking action to hold corporations accountable for their donations that support these draconian laws!! The number of pregnant women dying from the fear of prosecution with physicians is unacceptable. Women dying will explode within just a year and we cannot allow corporations to skirt the issues that are being forced upon women, and girls.

      The GOP is strictly wanting to control women’s, as well as girls, power to their reproductive rights, as the overturning of Dobbs was purely an action to do so.