David Simon, creator of acclaimed HBO series such as “The Wire,” “Show Me a Hero,” and “The Deuce,” revealed on social media this week he is writing a new HBO project “based on events in Texas,” but he will not shoot the project in the state because of its abortion ban law. Simon is one of the first high-profile showrunners to refuse to film in Texas.
“As an employer, this is beyond politics,” Simon wrote on Twitter. “I’m turning in scripts next month on an HBO non-fiction miniseries based on events in Texas, but I can’t and won’t ask female cast/crew to forgo civil liberties to film there. What else looks like Dallas/Ft. Worth?”
The Dallas Film & Creative Industries Office, formerly known as the Dallas Film Commission, pushed back against Simon with a post that read: “Laws of a state are not reflective of its entire population. Not bringing a production to Dallas (a big ‘D’) only serves to further disenfranchise those that live here. We need talent/crew/creatives to stay and vote, not get driven out by inability to make a living.”
Simon shot back with the following statement: “You misunderstand completely. My response is NOT rooted in any debate about political efficacy or the utility of any boycott. My singular responsibility is to securing and maintaining the civil liberties of all those we employ during the course of a production […] if even one of our employees requires full control of her own body and choices — and if a law denies this or further criminalizes our attempt to help her exercise that control, we should have filmed elsewhere.”
HBO has not yet formally announced Simon’s Texas-set project. The network and “The Wire” creator are currently at work on a limited series about corruption in the Boston Police System. The series is called “We Own This City” and is based on the book “A True Story Of Crime, Cops, and Corruption.” The Hollywood Reporter notes that HBO parent company WarnerMedia has not yet said if the HBO Max series “Love and Death” will shoot in Austin, Texas this fall as originally planned.