Though some celebrities and film and television writers and creators are protesting and threatening boycotts over the recently signed Georgia abortion bill, dubbed “the heartbeat bill,” the effort still hasn’t gained significant traction.
On Tuesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed HB 481, which would outlaw abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. The bill includes exceptions for rape and incest (only if a woman files a police report) or to save the life of the mother. The law is set to go into effect January 1.
Some threatened to boycott Atlanta’s thriving film and television production industry, though other observers feel it’s too late for a boycott to have an effect since the governor has already signed the bill. At this point, it would just hurt the industry workers making a living in Georgia, their reasoning goes.
No studios or production companies have yet responded to the call for a production boycott.
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Stacey Abrams and Kamala Harris are among politicians who have strongly protested the bill. Here’s what some entertainment business figures are saying:
The actress led the charge in organizing actors to boycott the state. Don Cheadle, Zoe Kravitz, Tim Heidecker, Christina Applegate, Alec Baldwin and Amy Schumer are among 50 actors that signed a letter denouncing the bill. Milano spread her tweets with the hashtag “HBIsBadForBusiness,” referencing the potential boycott. But the governor signed the bill despite the protest.
To @BrianKempGA & Speaker Ralston:
Attached, is an open letter signed by 50 actors against #HB481. On behalf of the undersigned–as people often called to work in GA or those of us contractually bound to work in GA–we hope you'll reconsider signing this bill. #HBIsBadForBusiness pic.twitter.com/DsOmAWYU2x
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 28, 2019
Philipps brought up her own abortion on her talk show “Busy Tonight.” She tweeted, “I can not sit idly by while women’s rights are stripped away.” She said on her show, “I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over this country.”
I spoke about my abortion on my show tonight because I can not sit idly by while women’s rights are stripped away. https://t.co/Vk4kh4ZBJq
— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) May 8, 2019
The creator of “Treme,” “The Wire,” and “The Deuce” is on board for a boycott. He tweeted, “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.”
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
Screenwriter-filmmaker Jessica Ellis pointed out that women seeking illegal abortions could be subject to prison terms.
I was initially against boycotting filming in Georgia, because it seemed like that would hurt BTL workers who live there. But this law isn’t just an abortion ban, it’s a license to imprison women for ANY reason. No one should ever go near Georgia again and women need to flee,now. https://t.co/WrMyyGJNZL
— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) May 8, 2019
Storyboard artist Dagny Phillips-Stumberger said people spending production money in Georgia should rethink what they’re doing.
Screenwriter Angela Workman also advocated for pulling productions immediately.
I hope my compatriots in the film and television industry pull all production out of Georgia immediately.
— Angela Workman (@AWorkmanWriter) May 8, 2019