A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

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HBO Cancels Taxpayer-Supported 'Hung'

Analyst: 'There are no free lunches, even in Hollywood economics'

HBO recently announced it was cancelling the show “Hung” after three seasons. The show was filmed in Detroit and the surrounding area.

The Michigan Film Office estimates the production company spent $7 million from 2010 to 2011 and received $2.7 million back from the film subsidy, comprising about 38 percent of expenditures. The Michigan Film Office receives the film subsidy money from taxpayers.

Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, says that the $2.7 million is actually an opportunity cost sunk in expensive subsidies, such as those allocated for "Hung"'s production subsidies. In other words, money that could have been used by taxpaying entrepreneurs to effect economic growth in Michigan was instead forcibly doled out to film projects that create a limited number of jobs for a limited group of workers.

“There are no free lunches, even in Hollywood economics,” LaFaive said.

"Hung" told the story about a middle-age high school basketball coach in Detroit who turns to prostitution to make money after a divorce.

The Republican-dominated legislature recently teamed up with Democrats and voted overwhelmingly to continue the film subsidy program (Who Voted 'Yes' and Who Voted 'No').

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See also:

Republican-led Legislature Votes Overwhelmingly to Continue 'Big Hollywood' Film Subsidy

Hollywood Grinch: Michigan Taxpayers Give 'A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas' Millions

Should Michigan Taxpayers Have Been Forced To Spend $30 Million on 'Iron Man 3'?

New Transformers Flick Costs Each Michigan Taxpayer $1.36

Real Steel or Reel Steal? New Film Costs $4.26 Per Michigan Taxpayer

Michigan Film Subsidy Winner Costs 10x More to Make Than It Earns

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