The following e-mail was sent today:
Dear Ms. Ayers,
You indicated almost a month ago that Bristol Palin’s show “Life’s a Tripp” may not qualify for a film tax credit, and that the company producing the show had not sent in its final request for the tax credit. One of the people reading my blog brought this clip to my attention and I wanted to share it with you.
As indicated in this clip, the film is obviously not filmed in Alaska.
Instead Bristol, Willow and Tripp have traveled to Phoenix. I also wanted to bring this clip to your attention because I understand that pursuant to AS 44.33.236, film tax credits are not allowed if the film is “detrimental to the people of the state of Alaska.” At the outset this film glamorizes being an unmarried teen with a child. It would seem that glamorizing teen pregnancy would be enough of a detriment to the people of Alaska, to prevent the film from being given final approval. The facts are:
• Teen pregnancy accounts for more than $9 billion per year in costs to U.S. taxpayers for increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers.4
• Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school drop out rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22, versus nearly 90% of women who had not given birth during adolescence.5
• The children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult.6
Alaskans should be particularly concerned about the increasing rise in teen pregnancy rates as Alaska has had increases in teen pregnancy rate in each year since 2006.
In Alaska, the public cost associated with teen childbearing is conservatively estimated to be $32 million in 2004, half paid by the federal government and half by the state. This estimate captures net costs – those costs over and above what would have been incurred if a person with similar characteristics to the teen mother delayed childbearing until age 20 or 21.
However the detriment to the State of Alaska goes beyond the promotion of unwed teen pregnancy. This clip referenced above is a graphic example of both horrible parenting skills and language so offensive from a 3 year old child that the network had to bleep out some of his words.
Bristol Palin even admits she is doing a horrible job disciplining Tripp, yet the message to Alaskan teens would be…”become an unwed teen mother, be a failure at raising that child, and you too can be featured on a reality television show, make thousands of dollars, live in a beautiful home in Phoenix, with palm trees encircling the pool outside your back door, where kids get drunk.”
I checked your web site this morning, and it appears the application of Helping Hands is still pending. If Helping Hands should submit a final application for a film tax credit, I am sure this clip will be helpful in your determination. Thank you.