Editorials

Censorship won’t build our film industry

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage and NASCAR legend Ricky Rudd have guest-star roles on TNT's "Dallas". The episode, filmed partially at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, will air in late January.
Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage and NASCAR legend Ricky Rudd have guest-star roles on TNT's "Dallas". The episode, filmed partially at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, will air in late January. Handout

Political ideologues like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick can’t have it both ways.

Patrick wants more films shot in Texas — but doesn’t want to provide assistance for films with subject matters he doesn’t like.

Case in point, Let Her Speak, a drama about former state Sen.Wendy Davis from Fort Worth and her history-making stand on abortion rights. Patrick is a staunch anti-abortionist and he got snippy about the possibility that the movie would shoot in the Senate chambers.

But he wants Texas to be the “film capital of the United States.” Lawmakers have decimated the already tiny Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program budget of $22 million — down from 2013’s $95 million — and now state officials are slamming one the few movies planning to film here.

We want more films shot in Texas, but censoring films because of content smacks of Gestapo tactics and makes it even harder to woo filmmakers to the state.

We already had at least one strike against us with the whole Machete fiasco a few years back. The Texas Film Commission, which is part of the Office of the Governor — denied the film financial incentives because of content that portrays Texans "in a negative fashion.”

What happened to Machete could happen to Let Her Speak. And that’s bad for the state’s film industry.

Censoring content doesn’t get us any closer to becoming the national film capital that Patrick says he wants.



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