×

New York Legislators Approve Groundbreaking TV Diversity Tax Credit

New York’s state Assembly and Senate have passed a bill backed by the DGA and WGA East that would create a tax incentive program for TV shows that hire women and people of color in top writing and directing positions.

The bill will now head to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign. Cuomo has been a strong supporter of New York’s entertainment community and tax incentive programs to grow the volume of production in the Empire State. The next big hurdle will be getting $5 million set aside in the state’s budget to fund the credit.

WGA East and DGA leaders hailed state Senator Marisol Alcantara and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo for guiding the bill through their respective chambers. The bill is the first of its kind in the nation in linking a tax incentive to a diversity hiring program.

“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 the Writers Guild of America, East. “The missing link for policymakers has been putting money at the point of hire, and this legislation is an important step in that direction.”

Neil Dudich, Eastern exec director of the DGA, said the bill was an effort to address the persistence of “imbalanced hiring practices” in TV. Despite the enormous growth of series in production, DGA and WGA stats still show a relatively low rate of participation in high-level TV production jobs by women and minorities.

“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,” Dudich said.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Selena Gomez

    Selena Gomez-Produced Docuseries 'Living Undocumented' Ordered at Netflix

    Selena Gomez is set to produce a docuseries with Netflix. The series, entitled “Living Undocumented,” follows eight undocumented families who took the extraordinary risk of allowing film crews to chronicle their lives as they faced potential deportation. Ranging from harrowing to hopeful, their journeys illuminate and humanize the complex U.S. immigration system. The series depicts [...]

  • Veep cast - Outstanding Comedy Series69th

    'Veep' Cast, Kardashian Sisters Among Next Round of Emmy Presenters

    A “Veep” reunion is on tap this Sunday on the Emmy stage, as producers reveal the second round of presenters at this year’s ceremony. Emmy nominee Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who’s poised to make history on Sunday if she wins (giving her the title for most Emmy wins ever by a performer), will be joined on stage [...]

  • VJ1 RuPaul's Drag Race

    Pluto TV Adds Seven More Free Viacom Channels, Including One for 'RuPaul’s Drag Race'

    Viacom continues stuffing more library content into Pluto TV, its free, ad-supported internet streaming service, adding a range of African American and LGBTQ programming from VH1 and BET. On Tuesday, Pluto TV launched seven new genre channels with content from its parent, including dedicated channels for VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — with episodes from the [...]

  • SNL Cast

    Why Late-Night Comedy Is Under More Scrutiny Than Ever Before

    Late-night tv viewing is getting significantly more intense. In an era when audiences have become increasingly polarized by politics and their viewing habits have been fragmented by a dizzying array of streaming-video technologies, TV’s growing spate of late-night programs face new challenges. What’s funny to one crowd can be offensive to another. And with the [...]

  • Norman Lear Advocacy

    How Norman Lear Devoted Himself to a Lifetime of Advocacy

    Norman Lear often recalls the moment he became politically and socially conscious of the world around him. When he was 9, he discovered Father Charles Coughlin while tinkering with his crystal radio set. Coughlin was an infamously anti-Semitic broadcaster and considered the father of hate radio. Lear, who is set to receive Variety’s Creative Conscience [...]

  • battlestar-galactica-saved-by-the-bell- peacock

    NBCUniversal Unveils Originals Slate, Name For Streaming Service

    NBCUniversal has unveiled a broad range of programming for the first slate of originals for its streaming service, which has officially been dubbed Peacock. Perhaps the biggest titled announced for the service is a reboot of the classic sci-fi series “Battlestar Galactica,” with “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail executive producing. This is the third version [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content