Newsom Signs Bill Awarding $330 Million Extra for Film and TV

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Wednesday that provides an extra $330 million for the film and TV industry, and also carries a new incentive to promote diversity on sets.

Newsom signed the bill at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood.

The bill includes a new $150 million tax credit aimed at promoting the construction of new soundstages. That provision will be earmarked for productions that shoot at least 50% of their schedule on at a newly built studio facility.

The bill also includes $90 million a year for the next two years to lure TV shows from other states, and to subsidize TV shows that have already relocated.

The extra money for Hollywood comes after the state experienced an unexpected $75 billion surplus.

The soundstage provision includes a requirement that productions hire a workforce that is “broadly reflective” of the diversity of California’s population.

Though the state has previously required reporting of diversity statistics, it has never before set a diversity hiring goal in the tax credit program.

Variety published a study on Wednesday of more than 51,000 names taken from entertainment union rosters. An analysis of surnames showed that 16.1% of the names are Latino and 4.7% are Asian American — far below the state’s population for both groups.

Under the new soundstage credit, productions that meet their diversity targets will receive a 4% bonus on the tax credit — 2% each for hitting goals for above-the-line and below-the-line hiring.

Since 2015, the state has provided $330 million a year in credits to films and TV shows. The program is aimed at competing with other U.S. states, as well as the United Kingdom and Canada, that had used tax incentives to lure away much of the industry’s production work.

With the state flush with cash, Newsom initially proposed a $30 million increase in the TV relocation incentive. That quickly ballooned, with the Legislature adding $150 million to cover a “shortfall” for the TV shows that had already relocated.

Sen. Anthony Portantino, a Democrat who represents Burbank and Glendale, had pushed for the soundstage incentive, arguing that Los Angeles has to do what it can to maintain an edge over its rivals.

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