Georgia spoiled more than a few peaches with its controversial new abortion law, and now Hollywood is clapping back — but perhaps a bit softer and slower than what you would expect, especially after how vocal it was about boycotting the state following Democrat Stacey Abrams’ unsuccessful run for governor.
Georgia has become a go-to production destination for the film and TV industry, with shows such as The Walking Dead and blockbuster movies like Avengers: Endgame among those filmed there. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia earned nearly $4.6 billion (£3.5 billion) in total wages from qualified productions in 2018, along with 92,100 jobs, boosting the state’s economy significantly.
HB 481, the so-called “heartbeat” law, bans abortions once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks of pregnancy. After the bill was signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, several production companies announced they would be taking their business elsewhere, including those of Mark Duplass (Netflix’s Paddleton), David Simon (The Wire), and Nina Jacobson (Crazy Rich Asians).
I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact. Other filmmakers will see this. https://t.co/V2xDPKiMpo— David Simon (@AoDespair) May 8, 2019
“I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalise themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies,” Simon tweeted. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact. Other filmmakers will see this.”
Other filmmakers have indeed, including Jordan Peele, though he’s fighting back a little differently. The upcoming HBO horror series Lovecraft Country produced by Peele and J.J. Abrams will continue filming in Georgia, but profits will be donated to groups fighting what they said is a “draconian law.”
“Governor Kemp’s ‘Foetal Heartbeat’ Abortion Law is an unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms. Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women. We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia, and will donate 100% of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organisations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia. We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organisations.”
National women’s advocacy group UltraViolet flew a plane over the Netflix’s Los Gatos, CA headquarters, urging the company to stop filming in Georgia, according to IndieWire. On the actor side, stars such as Alyssa Milano — who has threatened to leave Netflix’s Insatiable if the show doesn’t relocate out of Georgia — Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba, Gabrielle Union, Amy Schumer, and Amber Tamblyn signed an open letter refusing to film in the state, Deadline reported.