By/Por Sharon Hardee Jimenez, Special for LWR
The great hope for Hollywood, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, is now the great hope for the major studios lining up for China’s millions in tax credit incentives, when they send our jobs to China. What happened Mayor?
We need to know why you are such a poor bargainer for Los Angeles? We should be taking advantage of China’s growing middle class, built on the manufacturing jobs America gave away decades ago to help build the wealth of the super power, by exporting film and television made in California to their new movie theaters. Imagine how the independent producers in Hollywood could lure investors to our state if they had access to the distribution of their movies in China. Instead, the independent producers who want to work in Hollywood are run out of town by a lack of tax credit incentives. How do you sleep at night knowing filmmakers have to leave your city to work at below minimum wage in other states just to keep their pensions and healthcare, because their jobs are gone? What do you say to our filmmakers who are denied tax credit incentives every day because of the legislation you backed in Sacramento in 2014? They’d love to have the Chinese billionaires that are your friends offer to invest in their films if they could only work in California again. But, they can’t and you know why, Mayor Garcetti.
In 2013, I stood up for you endorsing you for Mayor of Los Angeles. You stood on the steps of City Hall as I jumped for joy on the lawn. You said, “Getting back to basics means getting Hollywood jobs back home!” We were so excited! But, now we ask you Mayor, what happened?
Do you understand how ridiculous you look supporting a news conference and rolling out the red carpet to give our big studio production jobs to China as the super power billionaires offer millions in tax credit incentives to the major studio productions? Who is going to fight for Los Angeles? It’s nice to have the Chinese billionaires investing in LA, but, you are trading our jobs. Is this what your broken promise is all about?
A few days before you cheered the sending of big production jobs to China, you were invited to come and support independent women and minority led production companies celebrate our work to bring back jobs to California. You turned us down! But, you didn’t turn down the Chinese!
Can we count on you anymore? We want a 100 million dollar private/public partnership to allow women and minority led productions to be made in California, funding 10 to 20 million dollar films. We want to grow the studios of tomorrow, one independent film at a time. Should we reach you in China?
We can manufacture films in California and export them to our friends in China. Isn’t that a great word? Export? Made in Hollywood! The major studios have your help in this public private partnership that benefits them. But, independent producers and their families are waiting for a phone call that never comes. The call that backs up the promises you made in 2013 on the steps of LA City Hall.
The devil is in the details Mayor Garcetti. The City of Angels needs to make family friendly R with a purpose films and TV that we know the Chinese middle class will be anxious to watch in their new movie theaters. We’re not talking about fighting old trade wars. We’re talking about smart deals while taking care of the folks at home.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation ran a “Grow up America” campaign in Los Angeles in 2016. The global leader in healthcare AHF is talking about being mature about decisions that affect your health and longevity. The same slogan can apply to your leadership Mayor Garcetti. Grow up! Bring investment from China to jobs in Los Angeles. When you refuse to stand with independent producers and roll out the red carpet to people who want to take our jobs you give away, you end our hope for a healthy economy. As Mayor of the City of Angels you hurt our ability to take care of the massive homelessness that afflicts us, and the poverty our young families find themselves in as middle class jobs disappear. Grow up and stand with our filmmaker families who don’t want to abandon their children and elderly parents to chase tax credits that are denied to them in California.
Sharon Hardee Jimenez, is co-founder and president of Bring Hollywood Home a 501 C4 public policy advocacy foundation for jobs in the creative economy. A senior advisor in Hollywood in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, Jimenez has been in the lead of the public policy issues now being debated in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Sharon Hardee Jimenez 310-409-3306 cell
1109 South Orange Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90019