‘The Walking Dead’ Producer Backing Gender-Based Rebate Plan

The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd is among those embracing a new initiative that offers film and television productions a 10% rebate for demonstrating a gender balance, Deadline reports.

The rebate program, “10% for 50/50,” launched internationally Friday at the Berlin Film Festival following its debut at the Goteborg festival in Sweden. It was first put into motion by Women in Film and Television International and Stockholm-based production company Chimney.

Under this plan, production, post-production and facility firms earn points in various categories relating to cast and crew. Upon meeting diversity criteria, the rebate is unlocked.

“The truth is that everything is decided on the bottom line,” Hurd said. “If you have a ten per cent discount from a number of companies, that really adds up in a significant way.”

Hurd is now encouraging her contemporaries to embrace the initiative and better promote equality in the industry.

“I think that many of my projects have already qualified for it,” she said. “I’m very excited to seek it out and promote it and I encourage companies to join the initiative.”

Hurd, who co-wrote and backed the James Cameron-directed The Terminator, was met with gender discrimination when putting together their second collaboration: 1986’s Aliens.

“They thought that The Terminator was a one-off and the question I got was ‘who really produced it,’” Hurd said.

Now a storied producer — having backed Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 1998 Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck blockbuster Armageddon, and four Marvel Comics adaptations inspired by the Hulk and the Punisher — Hurd first saw a balanced work place when serving as Roger Corman’s executive assistant at New World Pictures.

“The first time I worked on the set of one of Roger’s productions was Humanoids From The Deep, directed by a woman [Barbara Peeters],” Hurd said.

“At New World Pictures under Roger women worked in every capacity and I believed that that was the way things were until I got into the studio system and realized that I was back in times of dinosaurs.”

21 companies have so far embraced 10% for 50/50, including Umedia (John Wick) and Norway-based post-production firm Shortcut.

“The other thing we are talking about today is how important it is to have men [involved] as part of this partnership,” Hurd said.

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Hurd now acts as executive producer on AMC’s long-running hit The Walking Dead and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead. Under Angela Kang, its first female showrunner, The Walking Dead has seen increased roles for Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carol (Melissa McBride) and will soon debut its first female leading villain (Samantha Morton).

The Walking Dead Season Nine returns to AMC with new episodes on Sunday.