Hollywood producers call for Georgia boycott over abortion law

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Hollywood producers call for Georgia boycott over abortion law
Visitors take photos of the iconic Hollywood sign in Hollywood, Calif. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

May 10 (UPI) -- Georgia's passage this week of one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States has drawn considerable business backlash from companies opposed to the change, including some Hollywood filmmakers.

At least three production companies have said they won't shoot in Georgia because of the new law, which bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected -- despite the state's 30 percent tax credit for film productions. The law was signed Tuesday.


Christine Vachon's Killer Films, producer of the Oscar-nominated movie Carol and the Oscar-winning Still Alice will no longer shoot in Georgia. David Simon's Blown Deadline Productions said it won't travel to Georgia for The Wire and The Deuce.

"Our comparative assessments of locations for upcoming development will pull Georgia off the list until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired," Simon tweeted.

RELATED Alabama passes near complete ban on abortion

CounterNarrative Films will also boycott Georgia, and urged others to follow. Duplass Brothers Productions' Mark Duplass, who has a multi-film deal with Netflix, asked producers not to give any business to Georgia. Actress Alyssa Milano wrote a letter to Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston that was signed by 50 actors.


"We cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia," she said.

Upon signing the bill, Kemp acknowledged potential legal challenges but said he'll "always continue to fight for life."

RELATED Georgia 'heartbeat' law the latest in push to outlaw abortion

"It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or currently being challenged," the Motion Picture Association of America said in a statement.

Attorney Charles Bowen said appellate courts will likely block the law, as they have similar laws in other states. Bowen founded the Savannah Film Alliance and serves on numerous Georgia corporate transportation and entertainment boards.

"From a legal standpoint, it's clearly unconstitutional," Bowen said. "I think it will be appealed by 2020."

RELATED Alabama Senate tables abortion bill after uproar on chamber floor

The Writers Guild of America West and East in March called the abortion bill "draconian" and warned it would kill productions in the state.

The Savannah Regional Film Office said spending from the entertainment industry in the city of Savannah, one of Georgia's largest, totaled more than $120 million last year.

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