Gina Prince-Bythewood, Karyn Kusama, Catherine Hardwicke, Alice Wu, and hundreds of other directors are standing in solidarity with the 411 women showrunners who sent a letter demanding media companies install protective measures for pregnant employees in states where abortion is now criminalized. According to The Hollywood Reporter, nearly 400 directors have signed a statement supporting the July 28 letter’s signatories.
Counting the original signatories, the 600 male showrunners who signed a statement of solidarity, and the directors who have come on board, there are now almost 1,500 creatives “presenting a united front in asking Hollywood’s employers to help provide abortion access in states where it is now illegal.”
Also signed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Melina Matsoukas, and Joey Soloway, the directors’ statement uses the same language as the male showrunners’ declaration: “We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with our writer/creator colleagues in demanding a coordinated and timely response from our employers regarding the imminent workplace-safety crisis created by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Abortion access doesn’t only affect people who can become pregnant. It affects us all.”
Spearheaded by “The Affair” creator Sarah Treem, the original letter called for companies such as Disney and Netflix to draft abortion safety plans. These protocols were to include an abortion travel subsidy for employees, including specifics on how their medical privacy will be ensured; an outline of the scope of medical care, including instances of ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and other medical treatment that necessitates abortion; and a criminal and civil legal protection policy for employees seeking an abortion. The signatories also demand the companies stop making political donations to any anti-abortion candidates or PACs.
The letter’s signatory collective stipulated that they required review of the companies’ abortion safety plans within 10 days of the letter’s delivery, a deadline that has come and gone. “So far, no company has issued a public response,” the source notes. “The Hollywood Reporter reached out to several studios but none has yet shared details regarding a response to the letter.”
Since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which struck down Roe v. Wade and a person’s federal right to abortion in the U.S., the Writers Guild of America East and West’s health plan added an amendment that will reimburse travel and accommodation expenses for participants and dependents seeking to cross state lines for abortions. The Directors Guild of America, meanwhile, approved a new policy that offers financial aid to union members traveling to another state for an abortion.