Florida’s Republican representatives have added a provision in a $75 million bill, intended to attract entertainment business to the state, which would deny a tax credit to television shows not considered “family friendly.” Shows that feature “cross-generational appeal” and forego smoking, profanity, nudity, sex and obscenity, will receive a tax credit equal to 5% of production costs, instead of the normal 2%.
For entities already producing family-friendly content, such as Disney, a 150% increase in available tax credits based on production costs is pretty nice. Unfortunately, the rationale for this bill is terrible, and more or less what one would expect from the Glenn Beck crowd.
“I want Florida to be known for making those kinds of movies: Disney movies for kids and all that stuff. Like it used to be, you know?” Republican state Representative Stephen Precourt told The Palm Beach Post.
Precourt, whose district includes Walt Disney World, denied his bill targeted gays by using the term “non traditional family values.”
Yet when asked whether shows with gay characters should receive the tax credit, he said “that would not be the kind of thing I’d say that we want to invest public dollars in.”
Precourt’s premise seems flawed: People may think of Disney when they think of Florida, but plenty reflexively associate the state with Miami and, specifically, cocaine. Still, families headed by same-sex couples are a growing group, and face the same issues as traditional families. ABC’s Modern Family depicts same-sex parents in a way that seems positive – there hasn’t been any widespread outcry over it – and is evidence that shows can depict the “responsible resolution of issues” required by the bill irrespective of a character’s sexual orientation.