Gavin Newsom’s Hollywood Donors Have Raked In Huge Taxpayer Subsidies For Their Films Since Lockdown

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Will Kessler Contributor
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom has received millions in political donations from Hollywood studios while California gives hundreds of millions in tax credits to the film industry since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data reviewed by government watchdog OpenTheBooks.

Since 2018, campaigns related to Newsom have been given at least a collective $4.1 million in campaign donations from entertainment companies, executives or employees from several major Hollywood studios, according to campaign data acquired by OpenTheBooks. Due to the state’s subsidies to the industry, Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery, Netflix, Disney, Sony and Comcast are set to collectively receive $722,068,000 in tax credits from 2020 to 2025. (RELATED: Gavin Newsom’s California In Flames Over His Total Inability To Control Crime)

Disney is set to receive the most in tax credits from 2020 to 2025, at more than $218 million, followed by Warner Bros. Discovery at around $181 million and Netflix at nearly $178 million.

Between 2018 and 2022, Reed Hastings, co-CEO of Netflix, gave $3 million to the campaign against Newsom’s recall vote in 2022, while Netflix executives and employees gave a total of $170,000 in donations, according to OpenTheBooks. The company, executives and employees at Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery gave $84,773 and $96,280, respectively, in campaign donations to Newsom.

The subsidies helped in the production of two TV series, “13 Reasons Why,” which certain have researchers linked to a spike in suicides, and “Euphoria,” which has been criticized for glamorizing sex, violence and drug use for high school kids, according to OpenTheBooks. Newsom and his wife have both spoken out about teen mental health, describing it as a top public concern.

The Film and Television Tax Credit Program is administered by the California Film Commission (CFC) and has allocated a total of $2.9 billion in tax credits to TV and movies produced in the state over its three iterations that last for five years each, according to the CFC.

In 2022, Newsom reaffirmed his support for the subsidies, backing SB 485, which extends the program an additional five years through 2030 and adds $1.65 billion in new subsidies, according to a press release from the governor’s office. The program will give $330 million per year in tax credits to the industry.

“As other states roll back people’s rights, California will continue to protect fundamental freedoms for all and welcome businesses that stand up for their employees,” Newsom said in the press release. “Extending this program will help ensure California’s world-renowned entertainment industry continues to drive economic growth with good jobs and a diverse, inclusive workforce.”

Newsom is set to debate GOP presidential candidate and governor of Florida Ron DeSantis on Thursday for a 90-minute competition televised from Georgia. Ahead of the event, Newsom’s Campaign for Democracy PAC launched an advertisement on TV criticizing DeSantis’ record on abortion.

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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