Game of Thrones fans, breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like your favorite show won’t be affected that much by the “Brexit” decision at all.
Deadline reports that although Game of Thrones’ main filming location is Northern Ireland, its funding sources will not be impacted by the British vote to leave the European Union.
— Mashable (@mashable) June 24, 2016
According to Deadline, the North Ireland-based production is currently being funded by NI Screen and Invest NI, and it’s also being funded by the UK Film and TV Tax incentives program. These programs will not be affected by the Brexit vote, and some expect that it may expand beyond the EU when Britain leaves Europe.
— BuzzFeed Books (@BuzzFeedBooks) June 24, 2016
During the first couple of seasons, Game of Thrones production did receive some funding from the European Union via the European Regional Development Fund. This source of funding would be cut off because of a British departure from the EU. However, the Game of Thrones production has not received funding from this program for the last couple of seasons, according to the article in Deadline.
HBO also put out a written statement to calm any fears Game of Thrones fans may be having, Entertainment Weekly reports.
“We do not anticipate that the result of the EU Referendum will have any material effect on HBO producing Game of Thrones.”
As Deadline noted, Northern Ireland Screen also put out a statement confirming that their productions, including Game of Thrones, will not be affected by the Brexit vote.
“This statement is to confirm that Northern Ireland Screen’s production funding comes from the Northern Ireland Executive through Invest NI and does not use monies provided from European funded programmes,” the statement reads. “We look forward to business as usual.”
— Ali A. Akbar (@ali) June 24, 2016
Although the Brexit vote will not affect Game of Thrones very much, the same can’t be said of the wider UK television and film industry.
“The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the U.K. film and TV industry,” Michael Ryan, the chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), said in a statement to Variety. “Producing films and television programs is a very expensive and very risky business and certainty about the rules affecting the business is a must.”
It seems that UK professionals in creative industries recognized the full impact of Britain’s EU departure early on. The Verge reports that close to 300 prominent actors, writers, artists, and musicians, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Jude Law, and Keira Knightley, wrote a letter in support of the “Remain” campaign
“This decision has just blown up our foundation — as of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies,” Ryan added.
— CNN (@CNN) June 24, 2016
According to an article in Foreign Policy, British film and television shows were given $32 million over the last seven years to subsidize their production costs. Funding came from programs like Creative Europe, which was developed to give money to media and cultural projects in the European Union. British films that have received funding from this program in the past include Carol, Brooklyn, Shaun the Sheep, and Amy, the documentary about the life of troubled singer Amy Winehouse. UK projects will be exempt from Creative Europe funding when the Brexit moves forward.
In short: Brexit seems like pretty bad news for the creative industry in the U.K.
“The U.K. creative sector has been a strong and vibrant contributor to the economy — this is likely to be devastating for us,” Michael Ryan said.
[Image via HBO]