The film industry in Georgia became the largest among American states for the production of feature films in 2016, in large part thanks to massive tax incentives that were introduced in 2002. Marvel Studios do most of their work in the state. The Walking Dead is shot almost exclusively in Georgia, as it a lot of Stranger Things. The Georgia based entertainment industry provides thousands of jobs to the state and brings in hundreds of millions of dollars. Washington Times declared Georgia to be the Hollywood of the South in 2016. Basically, Georgia needs Hollywood as much as Hollywood needs Georgia.
But that was before the state brought in its abhorrent bill essentially outlawing abortion. Now, plenty of big names are taking a stand.
This week, it was revealed that two major productions have chosen to move out of Georgia in the wake of the legislation. The Kristen Wiig film Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar and the Amazon series The Power have both pulled production from Georgia. Reed Morano, who is directing the latter, took to Instagram to explain the choice.
According to Time, which broke the news, Morano was supposed to fly to Savannah to scout locations for the series, but cancelled after the so-called ‘heartbeat bill’ was signed into law. They aren’t the only companies and big names speaking out. Christine Vachon’s Killer Films called for a boycott of the state, as did David Simon’s production company Blown Deadline, the Duplass Brothers Productions, Nina Jacobson’s Colorforce (the people behind The Hunger Games), and Neal Dodson’s CounterNarrative (Triple Frontier).
Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned.— Christine Vachon (@kvpi) May 9, 2019
Whatever you're going to do with your Hollywood business in (or not in) Georgia for the foreseeable future, if you have the resources, you should probably point some of them in this direction… https://t.co/hxbMtQd2EZ— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) May 10, 2019
Jason Bateman, star of Ozark has also vowed to boycott the state if the abortion ban stays on the books. Alyssa Milano, who stars in Insatiable, which is shot in Georgia, said she would not return to the show for season two if the ban went through. Other actors have made similar sentiments.
All actors&directors must boycott! Heartbeat abortion bill: Small production companies threaten to boycott Georgia - The Washington Post @LeoDiCaprio @MarkRuffalo @JLo @ChrisEvans @Oprah @KevinHart4real https://t.co/4jr53ioWo1— John Leguizamo (@JohnLeguizamo) May 11, 2019
This is how you do it. Please men, follow her lead. https://t.co/xe6ImgsnZ9— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) May 21, 2019
Others are staying in the state but have vowed to donate their fees to causes fighting the ban. Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams, who are shooting HBO’s Lovecraft Country in Georgia, released a statement saying they’d donate their fees to ACLU and Fair Fight Georgia. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, who are prepping the Netflix film Hillbilly Elegy to film in Georgia, have said they will follow suit.
Of course, a lot of the really big players in the state *coughMarvelcough* haven’t said anything. This is probably because they’re hesitant to give up those sweet sweet tax breaks and are hoping the law will be challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional. Just as well the Supreme Court is pretty sympathetic to abortion rights these days, eh?
Yeah, you should donate to Fair Fight Action if you can.
Header Image Source: Getty Images.