What would happen to Hollywood to mess with Texas? – The Hollywood Reporter
Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, announced that he is directing state agencies to investigate gender-affirmed care for transgender children because cases of “child abuse” were widely condemned today. Wednesday, with criticism from Hollywood to the White House.
In a letter dated February 22 to commissioner Jaime Masters of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Abbott directed the agency to “conduct a prompt and thorough investigation into any reported cases.” report these abusive procedures”, referring to sex-affirming care such as surgery and hormone therapies. The letter, citing and including a lengthy opinion piece, was issued Friday by Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, who also called such procedures child abuse as defined by the Texas Family Code.
Writer Neil Gaiman description Abbott’s letter was “monstrous” while actress Melanie Lynskey said she was “heartbroken but not surprised” by the news. “This is a real war,” she posted. “We need elected officials to work, really work, to protect transgender children and protect all transgender people.” Actor Alex Winter weight by predicting that Texas’ attack on the transgender community will “only grow from there” because “that’s how fascism works.” Writer and host Bess Kalb gave cash to any parent of transgender youth looking to move out of Texas. “Fuck this Nazi,” she tweeted.
Abbott, a Republican, invoked a Texas law that requires health care professionals and members of the public to report such cases and suggested that those who fail to do so may be required to face criminal penalties. A DFPS spokesperson said the agency “will comply with Texas law as explained.”
Brian Klosterboer, a staff attorney at the Texas division of the ACLU, denied the legitimacy of the letter from Abbott and Paxton. “This opinion and letter has no legal effect and cannot alter Texas law nor usurp the constitutional rights of Texas families. But they sow fear and misinformation and can spur false reporting of child abuse at a time when DFPS is facing a crisis in our state’s foster care system. ,” Klosterboer said in a statement confirmed by CHEAP. “The law clearly states that parents, guardians and doctors can treat transgender youth in accordance with current standards of care. Any parent or guardian who loves and supports their child and is taking them to a licensed health care provider will not engage in child abuse.”
While it remains unclear how this unprecedented move will play out, Abbott’s intention to criminalize healthcare advocates for transgender youth has been met with swift backlash.
Karine Jean-Pierre, chief deputy press secretary for the White House, told Dallas Morning News in a statement: “Conservative officials in Texas and other states across the country should stop squeezing themselves into health care decisions that create unnecessary tension between pediatricians and their patients. No parent should face the pain of a politician who is hindering their child’s access to life-saving care. “
Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, responded in a statement with CHEAP, called the situation downright worrying. “We know that family support can save transgender youth lives, and the continued attacks on their rights by politicians directly take a toll on their mental health. Transgender youth deserve the right to be who they are and to be treated with the dignity and respect that everyone wants regardless of their gender, politics or background. “
While transgender host Jaclyn Moore responded by posting: “Transgender kids deserve to be transgender.” Moore, currently working on Queer as Folk reboot, announced last year that she would boycott Netflix after working with the streamer on its series Dear white people because Dave Chappelle’s special is on air Closer.
And actress, writer and producer Jen Richards tweeted a thread on Tuesday calling for broader efforts on conservative rights that limit rights for the LGBTQ community. “All of these bills have one goal, which they’ve been trying from many different angles since they lost same-sex marriage: legislation for transgender people doesn’t exist,” Richards posted. “If you can’t use the bathroom, play sports or get medical care… it’s just cruelty pretending to be care.”
Richards suggests that these political moves could lead transgender teens to “get kicked out or run away and the suicide rate will skyrocket” as they will be more vulnerable at home and at school. “We’re out here just trying to live our lives and they can’t stop thinking about us. Our body. Our sex. All their efforts are like a fan fiction horror movie. It’s dark and twisted.”
However, the question remains: Will business in Texas be affected?
While Hollywood power players have used their platforms in recent years to denounce controversial state laws and policies, they have shown no desire to mess with Texas.
Back in September, the Lone Star State passed a highly controversial abortion law that made it illegal to terminate a pregnancy after about six weeks. Why compare the law with The story of the maid and Alyssa Milano called its supporters the “Texas Taliban.” Actress Rosanna Arquette announced she turned down a movie because it was going to be shot in Texas, and frankly Wire showrunner David Simon said he’s pulling an unannounced project from the state.
However, any evidence of a serious boycott, especially at the studio level, is lacking.
For example, it was certainly not conspicuous when Major League Baseball decided to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia last year in protest of its voting rights bill. Or, in 2019, how Georgia’s fetal heartbeat bill led to Lionsgate pulling their plans to shoot the Kristen Wiig comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar from the state. At the time, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that if the bill became law it would become “very difficult to produce a movie or movie there”. And The CW’s Mark Pedowitz also told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour, “If the legislation passes, I’m sure we’ll discuss with both studios what to expect Do’s and Don’ts about Georgia’s location. ”
The Georgia bill is currently in limbo awaiting a Supreme Court decision, while the Texas law is heavily in effect.
However, the CW shoots Walker in Texas, and has been silent on the matter, as have other stores with products in the state like Netflix (which recently ended Roaring Twenties), Paramount + (the Yellowstone prequel 1883 and spin-off 6666) and HBO Max (upcoming miniseries Love and death).
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis has called on officials from prominent festivals such as SXSW to contact Abbott. “Businesses that operate in Texas and host popular events like SXSW should contact Governor Abbott and let him know how this will make it harder to do business in the state and ultimately The only result of his actions will be undue harm to transgender people and parents. of transgender youth,” she said.
SXSW, to be conducted next month, sent a statement to The Hollywood Reporter spoke out against the directive, but also noted that the festival is still located in the liberal center of Austin state, where it has been held since its founding in 1987: “SXSW opposes segregation and support the LGBTQ+ community. The governor’s latest directive has once again put transgender children at risk and we categorically condemn this action. We are often asked to leave the state when there is a problem, but Texas is our home. This is a state where the main population centers are Democratic, and Austin has always supported progressive values. Moving SXSW out of Texas will do more damage to Austin than to the state. Austin is part of SXSW’s DNA, and we intend to stay and fight and continue to use our platform to further advance human rights. ” (Penske Media, co-owner of CHEAPis also a co-owner of SXSW.)
However, this new directive – combined with the abortion law – could motivate studio fencers, who have choices about where to shoot upcoming projects to avoid the state of Texas, to create a increasingly toxic images in advertisers. And it doesn’t, perhaps it’s worth asking: Then what happens?