The sociopolitical implications of Britain’s decision to opt out of the European Union are quite serious, and the fate of film and television productions likely ranks very low on the country’s list of concerns. That being said, fans of a certain HBO show are anxious to know how the vote will affect a fictional — yet equally complex — political landscape.
Several media outlets have reported that Game of Thrones, which uses Northern Ireland (part of the U.K.) as a home base for its expensive production, would be financially hamstrung by the vote, but according to Entertainment Weekly, the beloved show actually won’t be impacted at all.
The common wisdom was that Game of Thrones’ costly production relied on financial partners like the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, and that the decision would render the show unable to draw from that particular well. As EW points out, however, HBO hasn’t received money from the fund in years, anyway.
If you’re still confused, have a look at the statement the network released in response to the flap: “We do not anticipate that the result of the EU Referendum will have any material effect on HBO producing Game of Thrones.”
That’s pretty straightforward, and it seems this whole thing may have been little more than Chicken Little syndrome. Still, there are plenty of other productions taking place across the pond that could end up being impacted.
The Foreign Policy report that helped launch the GOT story also featured an interview with a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Brussels office. When asked if Brexit, which combines British and exit, could leave the financing for Britain-based TV and film projects in jeopardy, he replied, “absolutely.” He went on to add: “It might be up in the air for U.S. studios who want to film in the U.K. … there are EU programs to help fund all of this. If the U.K. is no longer part of the EU, that has the potential to go away.”
There’s a lot to parse here, but suffice it to say that the vote will create uncertainty in some camps. Fortunately, however, it seems that it will not affect GOT’s stranglehold on the TV landscape.
Game of Thrones is about to wrap up its sixth season. The season finale airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on HBO.