The fallout over Georgia’s controversial abortion law continues as some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and the heads of three production companies are saying that they will no longer film in the Peach State.
Christine Vachon, chief executive officer of Killer Films; David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “The Deuce” who heads Blown Deadline Productions; and Mark Duplass of Duplass Brothers Productions have come out in strong opposition to a newly signed law that would ban abortions in Georgia if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the “heartbeat bill” into law, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has stated that it will challenge the new law in court. The new law is set to go into effect on January 1, 2020.
The bills prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. But reproductive rights advocates and doctors say the laws, which prohibit abortion before many women know they are pregnant, amount to a near-total ban on the procedure. The bill also includes a penalty for those who perform abortions of up to 10 years in prison. It doesn’t explicitly exempt women who perform their own abortions with drugs, leading to speculation about whether they would also be subject to criminal charges. Some have suggested that it could even lead to murder charges for women who have abortions — but other experts say the consequences are far from clear.
Showbiz and Georgia have had a long-standing relationship as it has been the location for filming a number of television shows and blockbuster films including Marvel’s movie, “Black Panther.” Georgia has also seen an influx of more than an estimated $2.7 billion from direct spending from more than 455 productions including television shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Stranger Things.”
Filmmakers Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams released that they would be standing “shoulder to shoulder with the women of Georgia” in a statement last week. The two are about to start shooting their new show “Lovecraft County” in the state but have promised to donate 100% of their episodic fees to the ACLU of Georgia as well as the organization Fair Fight Georgia, an election reform organization.
The joint statement read:
“Governor Kemp’s ‘Fetal 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,” the joint statement read. “We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations.”
Peele and Abrams are just a sampling of the many that have vowed to not film in Georgia, but not all of Hollywood is joining the ban, as some insiders have adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward the Peach State. The Motion Picture Association, that represents 5 major film studios, said in a statement to CNN that it will be monitoring legal efforts that could reverse the controversial law.
“Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families,” the statement read.
“It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or is currently being challenged. The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process. We will continue to monitor developments.”
The Peach State has been especially sweet to Hollywood, passing a 30% tax credit in 2008 for all productions that were shot in Georgia.
“This dangerous and deeply-flawed bill mimics many others which have already been deemed unconstitutional,” said the letter, a copy of which Milano tweeted. “As men who identify as small-government conservatives, we remind you that government is never bigger than when it is inside a woman’s body or in her doctor’s office.”
Milano, who is filming the second season of “Insatiable” for Netflix in Georgia, said in a statement that she would not be returning if filming continues in the state.
“‘Insatiable’ shoots in Georgia and I am currently contractually obligated to be there for another month,” Milano said. “But I will do everything in my power to get as many productions as possible — including ‘Insatiable’ — to move out of this state which continues to put forth oppressive, hurtful policy that contradicts everything the entertainment industry stands for.”
“And if ‘Insatiable’ doesn’t move to another state, I will not be able to return to the show if we are blessed with a third season.”
Jones Brown Law
At the law offices of Jones Brown, we pride ourselves on principles of honesty, hard work, fair dealing and compassion in our representation. Our goal is to let clients focus on healing while we take care of the legal process of recovering from your accident. Our attorneys and staff are committed to adhering to a strict code of professional ethics. We dedicate ourselves to our clients’ best interests and making the legal process as painless and simple as possible for the injured and their family.