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Taylor Swift’s boyfriend is now a film producer thanks to green tax credits Biden signed into law

Published Feb 13th, 2024 7:37PM EST
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce
Image: Michael Owens/Getty Images

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When President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law back in 2022 — ostensibly, to curb price increases that were exploding at a rate not seen since the 1980s — it felt, at the time, like his administration was also kind of stretching itself into a pretzel to defend the green tax credits that the legislation included. To tackle runaway inflation, in other words, it was decided that what the country needed to urgently double-down on is … fighting climate change.

To believe that is to also believe that the prices of everything from groceries to rent have gotten out of control because the planet is warmer (and not because of things like Biden’s $1.9 trillion spending package in 2021, on top of $4 trillion in pandemic-era spending by the federal government). But as odd as it was to see inflation hit a 40-year high, and then that moment be used to justify fast-tracking climate and green energy priorities, it’s a whole different kind of head-scratcher to see Taylor Swift boyfriend Travis Kelce now benefitting from the Inflation Reduction Act to become a … (checks notes) … film producer.

Here’s the long and short of it.

My Dead Friend Zoe is a SXSW-bound indie comedy starring Natalie Morales, Ed Harris, Morgan Freeman and Sonequa Martin-Green. Morales plays a female Afghanistan veteran who reunites at her family’s ancestral lake home with her grandfather (Harris), who’s a Vietnam veteran.

Kelce, an NFL star whose Kansas City Chiefs days ago won Super Bowl 2024, is serving as an executive producer. The investors behind My Dead Friend Zoe, including Kelce, are also believed to be the first to use the Inflation Reduction Act to help finance a movie.

As a reminder of what that legislation set out to accomplish, here’s a summary from the US Dept. of Energy website. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 marks “the single largest investment in climate and energy in American history, enabling America to tackle the climate crisis, advancing environmental justice, securing America’s position as a world leader in domestic clean energy manufacturing and putting the United States on a pathway to achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate goals, including a net-zero economy by 2050.”

If you’re as baffled as I am as to how a piece of federal legislation meant to fight inflation ended up focusing on climate change — and then, years later, Hollywood investors are now using that legislation to finance random movies — here’s something else worth pointing out:

Kelce’s girlfriend, lest anyone has forgotten, has a net worth of more than $1 billion. So why did he and his fellow investors have to turn to federal aid to help with this movie?

“Hollywood is risky, right?” My Dead Friend Zoe producer Ray Maiello said in an interview with Variety. “On a scale of one to 10, Hollywood, it is a 9.5. Especially in terms of independent film. These federal tax credits take the risk down to like a five.”

Makes sense, even though using green tax credits to fight the inflationary cost pressures of making a feature film was certainly not what we were told the Inflation Reduction Act was needed for. At any rate, at least these tax credits aren’t financing money pits like Argylle or Madame Webb. Yet.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.