400 Female Writers & Showrunners Call On Major Studios To Take Action To Protect Workers In Anti-Abortion States 

400 Female Writers & Showrunners Call On Major Studios To Take Action To Protect Workers In Anti-Abortion States 

More than 400 prominent female writers and showrunners sent a letter today to the heads of the major studios expressing their “grave concerns” about the companies’ “lack of specific production protocols” to protect their workers in anti-abortion states.

The letters, which state that “it is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment,” also demanded that the companies “pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately.”

Deadline has obtained a copy of the letter to Netflix, which organizers say was sent to top executives at Amazon Studios, AMC Networks, Apple, Disney, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount Global, , and Warner Bros. Discovery.

The letters, whose signers include Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes, Amy Schumer, Marta Kauffman, Callie Khouri, WGA West vice president Michele Mulroney and WGA West secretary-treasurer Betsy Thomas, said that “this situation raises basic matters of equality, health, and safety in the workplace.”

The letters were all identical, except for the names of the companies. Here’s the letter that was sent to Netflix:

July 28, 2022

To Netflix:

We, the undersigned, are 411 show creators, showrunners and head writers who currently work across every network and streaming platform in the industry today, including those controlled by Netflix.

We have grave concerns about the lack of specific production protocols in place to protect those at work for Netflix in anti-abortion states.

It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment. 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.

Currently, any pregnant person working on one of your productions in states that have criminalized abortion does so at great risk. It is important that Netflix understands these risks and has comprehensive solutions in place. The purpose of this letter is to review your current safety protocols and protections on this vital matter to determine whether or not we will continue to work in these high risk environments.

Within ten business days of today we require review of your current abortion safety plan detailing Netflix’s policies and processes to ensure our safety, protect our health and defend our human rights. We expect that the specifics of your current plan address this emergency in full, including but not limited to:

● Published 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.

● Protocols outlining the scope of medical care for employees of your productions, including ectopic pregnancies and other pregnancy complications that require medical treatment via abortion while working for Netflix.

● Policy regarding criminal and civil legal protection, including indemnification and defense against liability, for any member of a production who facilitates Netflix’s protocols or provides Netflix’s policy information and guidelines to an employee seeking an abortion.

● Pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately.

As productions are currently in progress in states where abortion is illegal or pending criminalization, your immediate written response is required and expected within ten business days of July 28th, 2022. We also welcome the opportunity to review the written response with your company representatives for additional context should you wish. Our review will be conducted by the undersigned and our legal representative.

Signed,

Megan Abbott

Diane Ademu-John

Ali Adler

Pamela Adlon

Abby Ajayi

Desiree Akhavan

Zakiyyah Alexander

Bisha K. Ali

Gabrielle Allan

Kayla Alpert

Sofia Alvarez

Jane Anderson

Lucia Aniello

Amy Aniobi

Valerie Armstrong

Nicole Jefferson Asher

Michelle Ashford

Liz Astrof

Meredith Averill

Rachel Axler

Annie Baker

Gemma Baker

Jenna Bans

Carol Barbee

Sara Bareilles

Tanya Barfield

Kate Barnow

Kristen Bartlett

Vanessa Bayer

Nichole Beattie

Monica Beletsky

Lake Bell

Shaz Bennett

Eleanor Bergstein

Julia Bicknell

Jenny Bicks

Jocelyn Bioh

Ashley Nicole Black

Amy Bloom

Rachel Bloom

Andrea Thornton Bolden

Kathryn Borel

Hannah Bos

Rebecca Boss

Yvette Bowser

Christine Boylan

Patricia Breen

Kelli Breslin

Corinne Brinkerhoff

Mara Brock Akil

Aline Brosh McKenna

Jess Brownell

Julia Brownell

Carrie Brownstein

Gemma Burgess

Sarah Burgess

Lila Byock

Jennifer Cacicio

Gloria Calderon Kellett

Wendy Calhoun

Sheila Callaghan

Dana Calvo

Kat Candler

Kay Cannon

Erin Cardillo

Bridget Carpenter

Charise Castro Smith

Ilene Chaiken

Yahlin Chang

Hailey Chavez

Semi Chellas

Cindy Chupack

Zoanne Clack

Eliza Clark

Maisha Closson

Diablo Cody

Anne Cofell Saunders

Leila Cohan

Emily Cook

Akela Cooper

Fernanda Coppel

Elizabeth Craft

Jennifer Crittenden

Aïda Mashaka Croal

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

Whitney Cummings

Alexandra Cunningham

Michelle Dean

Jamie Denbo

Chelsea Devantez

Lydia Diamond

Marnie Dickens

Cara DiPaolo

Katie Dippold

Kiley Donovan

Savannah Dooley

Bash Doran

Karey Dornetto

Caroline Dries

Ariel Dumas

Lena Dunham

Cirocco Dunlap

Ava DuVernay

Laura Eason

Grace Edwards

Kerry Ehrin

Erin Ehrlich

Diane English

Anya Epstein

Maya Erskine

Jane Espenson

Bridget Everett

Sarah Fain

Gina Fattore

Halley Feiffer

Liz Feldman

Nancy Fichman

Hannah Fidell

Debra J. Fisher

Lang Fisher

Anna Fishko

Jennifer Flackett

Liz Flahive

Stephany Folsom

Leah Fong

Claudia Forestieri

Dana Fox

Emily Fox

Anna Fricke

Hannah Friedman

Jena Friedman

Liz Friedman

Maggie Friedman

Kelly Galuska

Sera Gamble

Jessica Gao

Daisy Gardner

Valentina Garza

Leila Gerstein

Melissa James Gibson

Gina Gionfriddo

Karin Gist-Brown

Gracie Glassmeyer

Jessica Goldberg

Sarah Goldfinger

Emily Gordon

Philippa Goslett

Susannah Grant

Tash Gray

Misha Green

Kathy Greenberg

Sarah Gubbins

Lauren Gussis

Jenny Hagel

Barbara Hall

Katori Hall

Jenny Han

Lisa Hanawalt

Chelsea Handler

Liz Hannah

Alma Har’el

Amy B. Harris

Dee Harris-Lawrence

Becky Hartman Edwards

Leslye Headland

Sian Heder

Eileen Heisler

Liz Heldens

DeAnn Heline

Cody Heller

Emily Heller

Felicia D. Henderson

Christal Henry

Tara Herrmann

Sara Hess

Regina Hicks

Lauren Schmidt Hissrich

Winnie Holzman

A.M. Homes

Karen Leigh Hopkins

Shannon M. Houston

Melinda Hsu Taylor

Soo Hugh

Darlene Hunt

Lauren Iungerich

Our Lady J

Abbi Jacobson

Casey Johnson

Erika L. Johnson

Joanna Johnson

Kathleen Jordan

Alexa Junge

Mindy Kaling

Laeta Kalogridis

Angela Kang

Kourtney Kang

Jenn Kao

Marta Kauffman

Zoe Kazan

Courtney A. Kemp

Nahnatchka Khan

Callie Khouri

Claire Kiechel

Marlene King

Michelle King

Corinne Kingsbury

Laura Kittrell

Julie Klausner

Jenny Klein

Jessi Klein

Erica Shelton Kodish

Jenji Kohan

Anna Konkle

Jenni Konner

Liz Kruger

Sarah Kucserka

Bridget Kyle

Stephanie Laing

Noga Landau

Amanda Lasher

Sheila Lawrence

Janet Leahy

Christina Lee

Young Jean Lee

Lauren LeFranc

Kasi Lemmons

Jennifer Levin

Chris Levinson

Debbie Liebling

Adele Lim

Erica Lipez

Amy Lippman

Crystal Liu

Kari Lizer

Attica Locke

Melissa London Hilfers

Rachel Caris Love

Jenny Lumet

Ashley Lyle

Natasha Lyonne

Monica Macer

Marguerite MacIntyre

Carina Adly MacKenzie

Jhoni Marchinko

Meg Marinis

Julie Martin

Felischa Marye

Britt Matt

Vanessa McCarthy

Abby McEnany

Shauna McGarry

Colleen McGuinness

Alexandra McNally

Carol Mendelsohn

Carly Mensch

Wendy Mericle

Elizabeth Meriwether

Erica Messer

Molly Smith Metzler

Allison Miller

Rina Mimoun

Arika Lisanne Mittman

Becky Mode

Raamla Mohamed

Lizzie Molyneux

Wendy Molyneux

Jaclyn Moore

Lauren Morelli

LaToya Morgan

Dominique Morisseau

Maggie Mull

Michele Mulroney

Janine Nabers

Margaret Nagle

Tia Napolitano

Daniele Nathanson

Jessie Nelson

Kristin Newman

Lynn Nottage

Marti Noxon

Alissa Nutting

Jami O’Brien

Jessica O’Toole

Dr. Sonya Odamtten

Nkechi Okoro Carroll

Silvia Olivas

Tracy Oliver

Stacy Osei-Kuffour

Monica Owusu-Breen

Jan Oxenberg

Carolina Paiz

Michelle Paradise

Sallie Patrick

Ilana Peña

KC Perry

JJ Philbin

Julie Plec

Daria Polatin

Tracy Poust

Channing Powell

Kate Purdy

Jessica Queller

Issa Rae

Lisa Randolph

Ellen Rapoport

Robia Rashid

Joan Rater

Jacquelyn Reingold

Nicki Renna

Dara Resnik

Shonda Rhimes

Katie Rich

Erica Rivinoja

Katie Robbins

Kate Robin

Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Marquita Robinson

Dailyn Rodriguez

Jessie Rosen

Melissa Rosenberg

Kim Rosenstock

Sharyn Rothstein

Julie Rottenberg

Amber Ruffin

Marja-Lewis Ryan

Tami Sagher

Erica Saleh

Danielle Sanchez-Witzel

Tanya Saracho

Stephanie Savage

Lorene Scafaria

Beth Schacter

Jac Schaeffer

Robin Schiff

Holly Schlesinger

Sarah Schneider

Ali Schouten-Seeks

Heidi Schreck

Amy Schumer

Jennifer Schuur

Beth Schwartz

Nell Scovell

Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

Frankie Shaw

Ranada Shepard

Janine Sherman Barrois

Amy Sherman-Palladino

April Shih

Keto Shimizu

Rachel Shukert

Katie Silberman

Emily Silver

Allison Silverman

Randi Mayem Singer

Francesca Sloane

Alena Smith

Nora Smith

Nicole Snyder

Jennie Snyder Urman

Holly Sorensen

Rachel Specter

Nichelle Tramble Spellman

Emily Spivey

Caissie St. Onge

Jen Statsky

KJ Steinberg

Dana Stevens

Christy Stratton

Veena Sud

Robin Swicord

Maurissa Tancharoen

Desta Tedros Reff

Sierra Teller Ornelas

Robin Thede

Betsy Thomas

Sarah Thompson

Merritt Tierce

Liz Tigelaar

Stacy Traub

Sarah Treem

Liz Tuccillo

Raelle Tucker

Karyn Usher

Noelle Valdivia

Krista Vernoff

Lilly Wachowski

Lena Waithe

Ayelet Waldman

Dahvi Waller

Lulu Wang

Michaela Watkins

Sarah Watson

Audrey Wauchope

Katie Wech

Annie Weisman

Hilary Weisman Graham

Lizzy Weiss

Gina Welch

Lindy West

Diana Whitten

Tracey Wigfield

Tracey Scott Wilson

Anna Winger

Nancy Won

Carly Wray

Wei-Ning Yu

Keisha Zollar

Lilla Zuckerman

Nora Zuckerman

Elisa Zuritsky

Lisa Zwerling


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