- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Today in Hollywood, an out-of-office email message might not be for a vacation — but instead a subtle form of protest.
Some industry workplaces, including most of the major talent agencies, will participate in a nationwide virtual walkout organized by Planned Parenthood to show support for abortion rights Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. PT. Some companies are adding additional programming as well — ahead of the walkout at UTA, client and Hacks star Hannah Einbinder will moderate a conversation with Debasri Ghosh, managing director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, and Alencia Johnson, the founder and chief impact officer of the social impact agency 1063 West Broad.
The virtual walkout is one of the ways, in the nearly three weeks since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, that the entertainment industry has transitioned from shock to activism. There is also the group of power players, including many former Time’s Up board members, who meet weekly, and there have been guild gatherings, protests and donations.
The loosely organized group who have begun meeting weekly includes Bad Robot partner Katie McGrath, CAA motion pictures co-head Maha Dakhil, Del Shaw partner Nina Shaw and co-founders of the social impact firm Acora Partners, Catherine St-Laurent, who worked for Melinda Gates and Meghan Markle, and Rebecca Goldman, former COO of Time’s Up.
The meetings started with a text chain on June 24. “The decision came down and people started calling and texting around and saying, ‘This is crazy,'” says one of the group’s organizers. “It felt acute. People were immediately wanting to be in community. People wanted to help.” The group, which is both male and female and includes figures from businesses outside the entertainment industry, has had doctors and lawyers advising its participants on areas of need in states where abortion is now or is soon to be illegal. Representatives from the Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline, a group of pro-abortion clinicians, and Men4Choice, which organizes men around reproductive rights, have appeared on the weekly calls.
Many in Hollywood have begun to think about how they portray characters receiving abortion and reproductive care. And some in the industry have been turning to their guilds for guidance. On June 29, the Directors Guild of America held a virtual meeting and invited Caren Spruch, Planned Parenthood’s national director of arts & entertainment engagement, to talk to its members. “The meeting was an opportunity for members to discuss and share their feelings and reactions to the ruling and what they can do to respond individually and collectively,” says a guild spokesperson.
After the meeting, Spruch says, five directors reached out about their film and TV projects. Spruch says she has also fielded requests from producers and writers for notes on scripts, and gotten requests from shows wanting to know how to direct their viewers toward health care services and other information.
Hollywood has been using its platform in other ways, with stars like Whoopi Goldberg, Jameela Jamil and Laura Prepon talking about their own abortions. On Late Night With Seth Meyers, writers Amber Ruffin, Ally Hord and Jenny Hagel conducted a conversation with Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson. Prior to the ruling, actors including America Ferrera, Aja Naomi King and Taraji P. Henson recorded abortion explainer videos for Planned Parenthood, and in the days since, White Lotus star Natasha Rothwell recorded a somber new ad for the group.
Some, including Lizzo, have also made major donations to Planned Parenthood and other reproductive rights organizations.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day