Nope director Jordan Peele has added his name to a letter signed by over 500 men in the film industry demanding protection for pregnant employees in states where abortion has been banned. On June 24th, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade, which enshrined access to abortion as a right at the federal level. Following this decision, several states began to enact trigger laws either banning or greatly restricting abortion access.
The states that have begun to enact these new laws include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Idaho, North Dakota, and Wyoming also have abortion bans and/or restrictions pending. Georgia is a state of particular note, however, since its capital Atlanta is a popular location for filming on major blockbuster movies. Some of the latest on this list include 2021’s highest grossing film, Spider-Man: No Way Home for Marvel. In response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, last week, 400 women and non-binary members of the film industry, including Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay and Lilly Wachowski, sent letters to top Hollywood executives citing “grave concerns about the lack of specific production protocols in place to protect those at work […] in anti-abortion states.” Following the publishing of this letter, some users on social media pointed out the lack of male supporters.
Now, as reported by Variety, 594 men in the film industry have written a short letter of solidarity calling for the same protections. Signees included Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams, Bill Hader, Greg Berlanti, Donald Glover, Aaron Sorkin, and Taika Waititi. The outlined protections include subsidized travel for employees seeking an abortion, civil and legal protection for any employee helping another get an abortion, and a cessation of all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees. The letter went out to multiple production companies, including Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Apple. The letter requested a response from production companies by 11:59pm on August 10th. Read an excerpt below:
Peele’s support of abortion rights and protections is likely no shock to those who are fans of his work. The director’s films and television shows have largely focused on exploring key societal issues in the United States through a progressive lens. As an artist whose first feature films, Get Out and Us, explored complex issues of race, class and oppression, Peele’s support of protections for his colleagues and their reproductive rights is unsurprising.
It is certainly heartening to see men like Jordan Peele and his industry colleagues actively express their support for their co-workers in the wake of such an important issue. While the overturning of Roe v. Wade is set to take its greatest toll on marginalized groups, access to legal and financial protections will prove crucial to all of those affected. And as Peele has achieved massive success using fiction to illuminate real systemic inequality, the director is now using his platform to call out inequality beyond the scope of his films.
Next: What Jordan Peele’s Next Movie Is (After Nope)