“Greedy” House of Cards Proves a Cautionary Tale for Motion Picture Office Execs
With Councilmember Vincent Orange's mayoral campaign winning less than 2 percent of the vote in last week, his hopes for bringing Netflix's House of Cards to the District are about over. Driving the point home today at a hearing on Vince Gray's budget, Orange's complaints about proposed cuts to film incentives budget earned only smirks from Gray and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins.
There's another reason for Orange to lose hope, too. Maryland—once so proud of their middling online-only series—looks set to give in to the show's producers over tax credits, and the District's own Office of Motion Picture and Television Development is starting to consider what the fight means for the future of throwing money at Hollywood.
In emails obtained by LL through a Freedom of Information Act request, MPTD officials lament that the District can't keep up in terms of tax breaks for filmmakers.
“This just goes to show that we never stood a chance with getting House of Cards to do any major filming here,” MPTD communications director Leslie Green wrote to agency director Pierre Bagley and other officials on Feb. 21 about a Post article about the tax credit fight. “Such a shame how greedy they are…”
“Absolutely….!" Bagley wrote back. "It’s a game DC can never win…Someone, somewhere will always pay more…For the time being! Let’s create a game that’s sustainable, and that we can win!"
MPTD didn't respond to a request for comment. But with the cuts proving uncontroversial in today's budget hearing, Orange's objections aside, any plans to bring more House of Cards to the District look as dead as one of Frank Underwood's victims.
Graphic by Carey Jordan