You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Georgia Governor’s Los Angeles Visit Takes Shape as Hollywood Weighs Production Boycott (EXCLUSIVE)

While the major studios watch and wait to see if a controversial new bill signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp goes into effect, Hollywood players are evaluating the prospect of boycotting the production hub, insiders told Variety. Kemp will also visit Los Angeles in the coming months to meet with top executives, where the legislation will likely come up, numerous individuals familiar with the trip said.

Outrage from the likes of prolific indie producers Christine Vachon (“Carol”) and Mark Duplass (“Creep”) has been rolling in since Kemp signed HB 481 on Tuesday, which would outlaw abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. Stars like Alyssa Milano — currently living in Georgia, on the set of the Netflix original “Insatiable” — said they would exit what has become a booming local film economy in the name of female reproductive rights. Film distributor Oscilloscope Labs was less subtle, tweeting “F—. THIS. HEARTBEAT. BILL. BULLS—.”

Thanks to an attractive 30% production tax rebate, Georgia is a domestic hot spot for film and TV shoots. Kemp’s Los Angeles trip has been scheduled for some time, one of the insiders added, and is expected to occur by the end of July. Meanwhile. his so-called “heartbeat bill” has inspired chatter all over Los Angeles as top players take a hard look at what the symbolic gesture might mean for bottom lines.

“It’s nowhere near as easy as you think it is,” said one half of an Emmy-winning producing team, speaking to Variety on the condition of anonymity. “For the people who have invested there, there’s deep infrastructure. You can’t just yank it out.”

Indeed, content giants like Netflix and Walt Disney Studios have become reliant on lush facilities like Atlanta’s Pinewood Studios, which boasts 18 sound stages ranging from 15,000 to 40,000 square feet and a 400-acre backlot. Films from “Captain America: Civil War” to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” have shot there.

The boycott threat also extends to many local and visiting artisans and craftspeople, as well as their families. One top executive at a streaming company singled out workers like carpenters, who are so desperately needed in the state to build sets that a huge faction from Los Angeles has moved permanent residency to Georgia.

While studios individually declined to comment on the matter, their collective voice in Washington — the Motion Picture Association of America — confirmed that economic reality this week.

“Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities,” an MPAA spokesperson said Wednesday, adding the group would “continue to monitor developments.”

Others in power positions are making more strategic moves. Late on Friday, Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions announced that their HBO series “Lovecraft Country” would continue to shoot in Georgia as planned, but that money from the production would be donated to two charities fighting the anti-abortion law. Insiders close to the production said the donation was made to bolster politician Stacey Abrams’ crusade to prevent the bill from becoming law.

The law, set to go into effect on Jan. 1, includes exceptions for rape and incest (if a woman files a police report) or to save the life of the mother).

Read some notable Hollywood reactions:

Gene Maddaus contributed to this report.

More Film

  • Kathy Bates Walk of Fame Honor

    Kathy Bates Erroneously Submitted For Lead Actress in SAG Awards Race (EXCLUSIVE)

    If dark horse awards contender Kathy Bates is absent in the best supporting actress category come tomorrow’s Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, don’t be too quick to put in on her performance in “Richard Jewell.” A clerical error was made by the Clint Eastwood film’s distributor Warner Bros., an insider with knowledge of the mixup [...]

  • Kasi LemmonsNew York Women in Film

    Kasi Lemmons, Jane Rosenthal, Ann Dowd Talk Golden Globes Female Director Snub

    The absence of women among director nominees for the Golden Globes is another example of how much work remains to be done to achieve gender parity in the entertainment industry, honorees said Tuesday night at the 40th annual Muse Awards presented by New York Women in Film and Television. “Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons, “The Irishman” [...]

  • Queen & Slim

    How 'Queen & Slim' Production Designer Karen Murphy Mapped Out the Duo's Route

    “Queen & Slim” is a social commentary packaged as a film, beginning with a bang. It kicks off when Queen (Jodi Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) shoot a police officer in self-defense and find themselves on the run. Slim somewhat innocently thinks his action will be justified in court, but Queen, a weathered prosecutor, knows [...]

  • Kevin Costner Diane Lane

    Film News Roundup: Kevin Costner-Diane Lane Thriller 'Let Him Go' Set for August

    In today’s film news roundup, “Let Him Go” will open against “Bill and Ted Face the Music”; “Paradise Found” is in the works; “The Irishman” leads the way for AACTA International Awards nominations; and principal photography has wrapped on “Quiet in My Town.” RELEASE DATE Focus Features has set an Aug. 21 release date for [...]

  • Harriet Movie BTS

    How the Three-Part Arc Helped 'Harriet' Editor Wyatt Smith in the Editing Room

    It has taken us until 2019 to have a film about Araminta “Minty” Ross. Better known in history as Harriet Tubman. In Kasi Lemmons’ new film “Harriet,” the story breaks away from the typical slave narrative of an upward journey. Rather, we get a story that delves into the woman, her humanity and inspirational life. [...]

  • Awkwafina Jumanji Next Level Premiere

    'The Farewell's' Awkwafina on Her First Golden Globe Nomination, Female Director Snubs

    Awkwafina just might’ve had her best Monday ever. Shortly after 5 a.m., the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. announced that she’d earned her first Golden Globe nomination (as best actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy) for her performance in “The Farewell.” But she didn’t have a ton of time to celebrate, since she [...]

  • Bhumi Pednekar

    IFFAM-Variety's Asian Stars: Up Next Program is Helping Talent Cross Over

    Eight young stars accepted the “Asian Stars: Up Next” award on Tuesday intended to recognize and promote Asian on-screen talent who have established themselves in their home market but have the potential to cross borders onto the global stage. The awards are issued by the International Film Festival & Awards Macao and Variety, and were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content