Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is trying to lure employers and workers to her state with a new digital ad campaign that boasts of the state’s inclusivity (“all are welcome”) and rights (“enjoy your reproductive freedom”).
The campaign is running in six red states in the South — Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina — where Republican politicians have passed laws restricting abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.
In August 2022, after Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law Senate Bill 1, which categorizes abortion as a criminal act under state law, some employers in the Hoosier state including pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. voiced their concern on how the law could hurt their ability to attract and retain talent.
Eli Lilly & Co. wrote in a statement: “We are concerned that this law will hinder Lilly’s — and Indiana’s — ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world.”
Governor Whitmer is supporting the message of the new digital ad campaign on her X account with a video featuring Hollywood movie star Samuel L. Jackson saying “Let’s go do what we do.”
For too long, Michigan had to compete against other states without a full toolkit. No more.— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) August 21, 2023
We've got the talent.
We've got the drive.
Now, we've got the support, funding, and opportunity to make Michigan stronger and more competitive. pic.twitter.com/RKDhw27y6V
With the movie clip, Whitmer targets CEOs looking to move operations to a state where it’s easier to hire and retain workers: “For too long, Michigan had to compete against other states without a full toolkit. No more. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the drive. Now, we’ve got the support, funding, and opportunity to make Michigan stronger and more competitive.”
The clip is from his 2021 film Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds and Salma Hayek. The action comedy is about suspended bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) who teams up with hitman Darius Kincaid (Jackson) and his wife (Hayek) to stop a madman (Antonio Banderas) from launching a terror attack on Europe.