Abortion law backlash: Hollywood says good-bye to Georgia

When the fetal heartbeat bill was making its way through the Georgia legislature, pro-abortion activists came out to protest, including the Hollywood elite who work in the state. Production company bosses threatened to leave the state if production was already underway, or to simply not come to Georgia to film anything new. The reaction from Hollywood by a few decision-makers has been carried out as threatened, after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the bill into law on May 7.

The hard-working film and television industry people in the State of Georgia are being penalized due to pro-life state legislation. Our moral betters in the entertainment business would rather disrupt the economic lives of those who work behind the scenes, and local actors rather than to acknowledge the right to life for the unborn, even after a heartbeat is detected. In other words, some Hollywood elitists have chosen to leave Georgia because the state is protecting life instead of not protecting the innocent.

Plans for an Amazon Studios show have been canceled and the show’s two executive producers aren’t even committing to filming it in the U.S. Hello, Canada.

Jane Featherstone and Naomi De Pear, executive producers of “The Power,” said the decision was a “direct response” to the governor’s signing of a bill banning abortions after six weeks.

“We feel we have to stand up for a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, and so while this is not a decision we have taken lightly, we feel strongly that it is the right one at this point in time,” the producers said in a statement to CBS News.

They said they haven’t yet made any new commitments to shoot the project in the U.S.

The statement comes after the show’s director, Reed Morano, told Time magazine she would no longer film the project in Georgia. “We had no problem stopping the entire process instantly,” Morano told the publication. “There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there.”

That film production announcement followed some who already announced the cancellation of projects in Georgia. Killer Films, a production company that made “Still Alice,” an Oscar-winning film and “Carol” which was nominated for an Oscar previously made their announcement to abandon filming in Georgia. The list is slowly growing.

David Simon said his Blown Deadline Productions will no longer consider the state as a shooting location. Simon is responsible for “The Wire” and HBO’s “The Deuce.

“Add my company to the list,” Neal Dodson of CounterNarrative Films tweeted shortly after Vachon and Simon announced their boycott. Several other people in the film and TV industry praised the production companies and urged others to follow.

SNL alum Kristen Wiig’s Lionsgate comedy, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, has also nixed plans to film in Georgia.

There is a viable option to just up and leaving the state, though. How about continuing to film in Georgia and donate to local organizations with similar values? That is what Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are doing with HBO’s Lovecraft Country. They may not be supportive of protecting the lives of the unborn but they are protecting jobs in the state. In fiscal 2018, according to state officials, 455 film and television projects generated $2.7 billion in revenue.

Governor Kemp is publicly acting as though he is unfazed by the whole kerfuffle. The Georgia bill, he notes, bans abortion after six weeks when the fetal heartbeat is usually heard but includes exceptions for victims of rape and incest, along with jeopardy to the life of the mother. Last weekend he told the those present at the state’s Republican convention “We are the party of freedom and opportunity. We value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk.”