Top Hollywood Producers Say They ‘Won’t Shoot’ in States Where Reproductive Rights Are Restricted Post-Roe

Power Women Summit: “You have to think about the health and safety of your crew,” “The Last of Us” EP Carolyn Strauss says

Top Hollywood producers say reproductive rights restrictions have kept them from filming projects in certain states following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Speaking at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, “The Last of Us” executive producer Carolyn Strauss said access to reproductive healthcare is “essential” when deciding where to set up filming for a project. Though she didn’t provide specifics, Strauss said she faced the dilemma when looking at locations for a project that’s currently in production.

“Where we choose to shoot is not just about bringing money or spending money in Georgia or wherever, it’s about ‘can you take care of the crew?’” Strauss said. “You have to think about the health and safety of your crew… I won’t shoot in those states.”

“I think it’s your obligation,” “Barry” executive producer Aida Rodgers said. “If you’re going to hire women, you have to make sure that you’re careful in the place that you’re filming.”

“It’s just hard to believe we even have to think about it,” Producers Guild of America CEO Susan Sprung added, commenting on the state of affairs in the Post-Roe United States.

The comments were part of the Summit’s “Producers Roundtable: Telling Stories That Matter.” Moderated by Sprung, the discussion also included 2AM cofounder and CEO Christine D’Souza Gelb, “Swarm” showrunner and cocreator Janine Nabers, “Ted Lasso” executive producer Liza Katzer and Mattel Films president Robbie Brenner.

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Christine D’Souza Gelb and Janine Naber at The Wrap’s Power Women Summit in Beverly Hills on Dec 5, 2023. (Katie Jones/Shutterstock)

During the panel, producers commented on how vertical integration in the industry overall and content spend cutbacks from streamers have reduced the number of shows and movies being sold.

“People are just really scared to make original stories, and it’s constant. It’s a thing that you’re fighting every day,” Nabers said, noting that at the same time she’s noticed a “fatigued” industry from so many remakes.

“As a writer and a producer, when I come in and pitch something and people are leaning in but say ‘I’m too scared to make that,’ that’s more of a reason to make it,” she added. “I’m always going to want to do subversive provocative stories. That’s just who I am.”

The panelists also praised Brenner on the success of “Barbie,” and reflected on what the film’s viral speech about the reality of being a woman, performed by America Ferrera, meant to them.

Katzer, who also executive produced the Apple TV+ drama “Shrinking,” pointed to the monologue highlighting all the different versions women have to play of themselves to succeed in the business world.

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Liza Katzer and Robbie Brenner at The Wrap’s Power Women Summit in Beverly Hills on Dec. 5, 2023. (Katie Jones/Shutterstock)

“Coming up as a young woman in this business [I was] constantly trying to figure out what version of myself, and what version of a woman I needed to be there to get the desired outcome, in order to appeal to the men or the authorities I was dealing with,” Katzer said. “Whether it was a writer or director with a bigger ego, maybe leaning more to my softer feminine side. And then turning around and having to walk onto a set with 100+ crew members and having to be authoritative and lean into a more masculine energy.

“You do so much extra work trying to modulate yourself and tweak yourself to become what you think you need to be. I really got a lot out of that aspect of [the speech.]”

For all of TheWrap’s Power Women Summit 2023 coverage, click here.

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