Sen. Kevin De Leon Talks Tax Rebates & Diversity At State Of State Luncheon

Eleven productions in California have qualified for tax rebates and four of those shows — including HBO’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy Veep — are relocating back to the state, California State Sen. Kevin de Leon told a crowd of more than 100 at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce State-of-the-State luncheon Friday on the Paramount Pictures lot.

Those productions, “will generate $216 million in wages and $544 million in direct spending for the state,” said de Leon, who is California’s first Latino to serve as President pro Tempore of the senate in more than 130 years.

The Senator discussed a wide range of issues, from global warming and the drought to education and immigration. But it was his vision for Hollywood– which falls within his district — that was especially well received.

De Leon addressed diversity, urging the industry to “recognize the responsibility for the inclusion of women and minorities both in business and on the screen. It’s good for the bottom line for Hollywood because they will be your increasing audience share for many years to come.” He also noted that “Hollywood is the most diverse district on planet Earth” and “it is important that Hollywood continues to strive to reflect the diversity of our great State as well as our great Country.”

The world, he told the audience, “is defined by the work you do here. The entertainment that you produce informs humanity’s perception of the world. Societal standards are set in Hollywood.”

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