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New York Backs Tax Break for Diverse TV Hires

The New York State legislature has passed a bill that would provide tax incentives for hiring diverse writers and directors for TV productions in New York, according to the unions that have been pushing it.

The bill was backed by the Writers Guild of America, East (based in New York) and the Directors Guild of America. 

The governor still needs to approve the new tax credit—and it must be included in the state budget—but it was a milestone being hailed by WGAE and DGA.

"People in the TV industry have understood for years that enhancing the diversity of writing and directing improves the stories that appear on screen,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of WGAE in a joint statement. “The missing link for policymakers has been putting money at the point of hire, and this legislation is an important step in that direction.”

"For years the DGA has pushed the industry to change their imbalanced hiring practices—so that talent, and talent alone, is the defining factor,” said Neil Dudich, eastern executive director of DGA in the statement. “By encouraging studios, networks and producers to discover the talented New York TV directors and writers that are out there in abundance, this bill can be a meaningful step forward in establishing a level playing field for all."

(Photo via Jim Bowen's FlickrImage taken on April 10, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.