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California Gov. Newsom to Hollywood: Stop filming in Oklahoma, Georgia

Gavin Newsom
Posted at 2:20 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 07:55:14-04

TULSA, Okla. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling on Hollywood to stop shooting in states with strict abortion and anti-LGBTQ laws in a letter on Thursday.

Newsom penned a letter to Variety Magazine urging Hollywood executives to stop doing business in states that are waging "a cruel assault on essential right." He specifically named Georgia and Oklahoma as examples in his letter as both states have some of the strictest laws concerning abortion rights and protections.

Is this the end of rolling out the red carpet in the Sooner State? 2 News looks at Oklahoma's place in TV and film:

The history of filming in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's mark in Hollywood dates back as far back as the late 1930s when the first scenes of "The Grapes of Wrath" were shot in McAlester and Sayre.

Since then, Sooner State has long established itself as a first-rate filming location for movies and television shows alike. Movies such as "Where the Red Fern Grows," "The Outsider," and more have been filmed in Oklahoma over the decades.

The latest big Hollywood movie production ended last fall when "Killers of the Flower Moon" wrapped up production. The movie is based on the novel that depicts the serial murder of members of the Osage Nation.

Movies aren't the only things being shot in Oklahoma. Critically acclaimed Hulu show "Reservation Dogs" filmed its first season in various towns across northeast Oklahoma. The second season recently premiered and is currently on air.

Sylvester Stallone has also been spotted for the upcoming show "Tulsa King" set to premiere this November.

Oklahoma's film incentives

In 2021, Senate Bill 608, also known as the Filmed in Oklahoma Act, was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

SB608 helped increase the Sooner State's incentive cap and eligibility to be able to host future movie and TV productions in the future. The bill also added additional measures to benefit Oklahomans when those productions happen.

Some of the incentives and uplifts include:

  • Operations in a rural community or small municipality
  • Using a soundstage in Oklahoma
  • Multi-film deals
  • Post-production work
  • Use of Oklahoma music

'Walk the walk': Newsom's letter

In the weeks following the U.S. Supreme Court overturning its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, Newsom is now asking studio executives to keep business within the state of California.

A portion of his letter reads:

“Today more than ever, you have a responsibility to take stock of your values — and those of your employees — when doing business in those states...

So to those in power to make decisions about where to film, where to hire, where to open new offices, we in California say: Walk the walk.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, the letter comes a day after Newsom endorsed support for legislation that would extend California’s film and television tax credit program through 2030 and invest $1.65 billion in the program, which is funded through 2025.

Newsom is asking those in power at studio companies to "walk the walk" in their decisions in productions and filmings in the future.

Anyone can read Newsom's full letter here.

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