Lawmakers who support a bill that would provide incentives for companies that produce films in Alabama recognize the value of publicity to the state.
Indeed, most of them have been tireless in providing such publicity with anti-immigrant and anti-abortion legislation.
House Bill 243 would offer production companies up to $25 million a year in incentives. The logic behind the bill is that films produced in Alabama provide a unique value to the state in the form of good exposure. The bill places a monetary value on the public-relations benefits.
According to an old saw, “All publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right.”
If that’s the case, our Legislature has provided an incalculable service to the state, even without the use of incentives.
No state in the nation can brag of more extensive, international coverage than Alabama.
We made global headlines with an immigration law that was more vicious than any other state could devise.
We are in the news again with an anti-abortion bill that would force a woman — even if she is a rape victim and suicidal, even if the fetus is severely deformed — to submit to a vaginal ultrasound and listen to a doctor narrate the description of the to-be-aborted fetus.
If all publicity is good publicity, we hardly need incentives to attract more.
Indeed, we suspect that many filmmakers will jump at the chance to document the tragic consequences of legislation our representatives supported. What an irony if the same Legislature gives those producers tax rebates to help them in their efforts.