Entertainment
A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) helicopter flies over the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, California February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) helicopter flies over the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, California February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni  

Leftist Actor Rallies For Hollywood Movie Tax Credits

Photo of Chuck Ross
Chuck Ross
Reporter

A well-known actor who has cozied up to third-world dictators like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is planning to attend a rally seeking tax incentives that will benefit wealthy Hollywood film production companies.

Danny Glover, who is best known for his role as Sgt. Roger Murtaugh in the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, will attend a rally at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel, Variety magazine reported.

Through a bill called the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act, California lawmakers are offering more tax incentives to filmmakers in the state in order to compete with programs in other states.

“Nearly 40 other states and 30 other nations offered nearly $1.5 billion in tax incentives last year to lure jobs and wages out of California, and the percentage of films made in California has gone from 66 percent to 40 percent in just a few years,” reads one flier for the event, according to Variety.

Under current California law, incentives for movies and TV series are capped at $100 million a year and 20 percent of production costs. Though the bill passed California’s state assembly 76 to 0, Saturday’s event will attempt to rally support from people outside of Hollywood and Los Angeles.

A dollar amount has yet to be attached to the proposal. Assuming it clears the California Senate, the incentive package is expected to take effect in 2016.

Demand for the incentives has drastically outpaced supply. According to Variety, 23 out of 497 productions up for consideration were chosen to receive tax credits.

Glover is a well-known political activist. In 2006, along with entertainer-activist Harry Belafonte, he visited Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In 2010, he called for his fellow actors to avoid wearing attire from designer Hugo Boss after the company laid off workers at an Ohio factory.

Glover has also showed inconsistency on which wealthy industries he seeks to give government-backed incentives.

In 2012, he joined a campaign out of Richmond, Calif. to tax soft drinks.

“Big corporations that sell sugary drinks are profiting while our kids grow sick and overweight,” said Glover at the time.

If passed, the incentive bill will provide relief to an already profitable industry. In 2013, the four biggest Hollywood studios — Warner Brothers, Disney, Universal and Fox — pulled in $16.8 billion in revenue. That was up from $14.7 billion the year before.

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