In a statement, MPAA spokesman Chris Ortman said on Wednesday, “Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families. 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 outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process. We will continue to monitor developments.”
Governor Brian Kemp signed the bill on Tuesday that would outlaw abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. The law, set to go into effect on Jan. 1, includes exceptions for rape and incest (only if a woman files a police report) or to save the life of the mother.
As the law was advancing in the state legislature, such figures as writer producer David Simon and Alyssa Milano denounced the bill and either called for a boycott or warned of the potential for one. Simon wrote on Wednesday, “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.”
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The Writers Guild of America West and East also issued a statement in March, calling the legislation “draconian” and warning that if it was passed, “it is entirely possible that many of those in our industry will either want to leave the state or decide not to bring productions there.”
Georgia is one of the country’s production centers, particularly for big budget tentpole movies, and with its generous production incentives, it has rivaled California and New York in drawing producers and studios as a preferred place to shoot projects.
In 2016, then-Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a religious liberty bill after The Walt Disney Co., Marvel and other studios threatened to pull production from the state. Other companies, like Apple and Salesforce, said also opposed the legislation, which they said would be discriminatory toward LGBT citizens. The studios have yet to make similar threats of boycott given the passage of the abortion bill.
(Pictured: Governor Brian Kemp.)