You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How the Government Shutdown Could Impact Hollywood

WASHINGTON — So far, the most visible signs of the ongoing government shutdown have been in images of overflowing trash cans at national parks and the closure of key D.C. locations like the National Zoo.

On Thursday, the media industry will start to feel the impact as the FCC plans to suspend most operations by the middle of the day.

That will halt the agency’s review of major mergers, like the proposed Sprint and T-Mobile transaction. Nexstar Media Group’s proposed merger with Tribune Media, announced last month, also could face delay, although the companies have yet to file paperwork. The FCC website will still be available for many types of electronic filing, but the agency has outlined plans to push back deadlines for proceedings. Other FCC functions, like consumer complaints and license reviews, will also be halted.

The FCC said about 83% of its workforce will be furloughed, and about 245 employees will be retained. They include approximately 200 employees who are tied to spectrum auction activities, and not paid through government appropriations. Others will be kept on duty to work on services deemed necessary to protect life and property. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the three commissioners will also continue to work, as they are paid out of funds separate from the annual appropriation.

The shutdown started on Dec. 21, but the FCC operated on existing funds through the New Year.

As it has dragged into this week, there’s been increasing concern that the impasse will last for weeks, as President Trump continues to demand funding for a border wall and Democrats refuse to give him those votes. The last major shutdown, in 2013, went on for 17 days, and forced the closure of much of the FCC’s operations. It also disrupted some film production shooting on federal properties, including national parks.

A spokesman for the park service said they were not aware of any specific productions impacted this time around, but they have stopped issuing permits.

Some producers have started to revise their plans for location shoots given the uncertainty.

Paul Audley, president of FilmLA, which issues permits for the greater Los Angeles region, said four productions that had planned to shoot in the Angeles National Forest are instead looking for alternatives. He said planned shoots were not imminent, so it was not as disruptive as if it were a project already in production.

FilmLA also works with the FAA on permitting for drone shooting, but that is not impacted by the shutdown, he said.

Also halted are the activities of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, potentially delaying the issuance of grants to arts organizations, filmmakers, authors, and other groups.

The shutdown will not impact the swearing in of a new Congress on Thursday, with Nancy Pelosi expected to win election to the House speakership. Lawmakers are paid under a different piece of legislation that is not at issue in the current showdown between Trump and the Democrats.

On Wednesday, after Trump and congressional leaders met at the White House, there was little indication that a deal was imminent.

More Politics


    Quality Control's Coach K Says Abortion Ban Has Already Impacted Business in Atlanta

    A who’s who of black entertainment and tech filled the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom on June 22 for the 4th annual Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch. Honorees included Byron Allen, who received the Icon Award; actress and executive producer Marsai Martin, who was named Innovator of the Year; and Quality Control Music founders [...]

  • Wyclef Jeans Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can

    Wyclef Jean Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can be Re-Elected'

    Wyclef Jean, the actor and rapper who performed the 2016 song “If I Was President,” is no stranger to politics, after trying to run for president of his native Haiti in 2010. At Cannes Lions, the annual advertising conference in the South of France, Jean talked about the future of music but his conversation with [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Refused to Answer Committee's Questions 155 Times

    Fox communications chief Hope Hicks refused to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee on 155 separate occasions during closed-door testimony, the committee chairman said Thursday. The committee released a transcript of the hearing on Thursday afternoon. Prior to the hearing, President Trump directed Hicks not to answer questions about her service as a senior [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Gives Closed-Door Interview on Mueller Probe

    Hope Hicks appeared at the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning to give closed-door testimony on her involvement in the special counsel investigation of President Trump. The Fox communications chief was subpoenaed in May to provide documents and testimony that would aid in the committee’s investigation into obstruction of justice. After extensive negotiation, Hicks agreed [...]

  • Prince Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz al

    Saudi Crown Prince Should Be Investigated Over Khashoggi Killing, U.N. Report Says

    Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, should be investigated in connection with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of “credible evidence” that the prince is among those liable for the dissident journalist’s death, a United Nations report said Wednesday. While no “smoking gun” has yet been found that directly incriminates the prince [...]

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders Jemele Hill

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Leave the White House

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving her position at the end of the month, President Donald Trump said Thursday. In two tweets, Trump announced Sanders’ departure for her home state of Arkansas before thanking her for “a job well done.” He also recommended her for the Arkansas governor position, writing, “She is [...]

  • Kellyanne Conway

    Federal Watchdog Says Kellyanne Conway Should Step Down

    A federal watchdog has recommended that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway should be fired for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. In a report on Thursday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel found that Conway had used TV appearances and social media platforms to disparage Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity. “Ms. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content