Georgia this week became the latest state to ban abortion upon detection of a fetal heartbeat. In response, a handful of film production companies have announced they’re following through on threats to boycott the state.
House Bill 481 forbids abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected except in cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed “medically futile.” If allowed to take effect, it will ban abortions in all other cases as early as six weeks into a pregnancy starting in January 2020. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law on Tuesday, declaring Georgia a “state that values life” and “stand[s] up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.”
While the bill made its way through the legislature, dozens of celebrities and several Hollywood institutions such as the Writers Guild of America threatened to boycott the state if the ban was signed. The film industry has generated considerable jobs and revenue for Georgia’s economy.
Now, several production companies have announced they will refuse to film in Georgia, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Blown Deadline Productions (producer of HBO’s The Deuce), Killer Films (First Reformed, Carol, and Vox Lux), Colorforce (Crazy Rich Asians, American Crime Story), CounterNarrative Films (Netflix’s Triple Frontier), and Duplass Brothers Productions (Safety Not Guaranteed, Room 104) are all pledging to boycott the state.
But while Georgia may lose the business of various smaller film and television projects, the bulk of Georgia’s film-related economic activity is unlikely to be affected. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which represents Hollywood’s largest studios, is opting not to boycott, at least for the time being.