Georgia Abortion Law: 3 Production Companies Say They Won’t Film In State After Bill Signs Into Law

Christine Vachon, President and CEO of Killer Films; David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “The Deuce” who runs Blown Deadline Productions; and Mark Duplass of Duplass Brothers Productions spoke out against a recently signed law that would ban abortions in the state if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the “heartbeat bill” into law on Tuesday, and the American Civil Liberties Union said it would challenge the new law in court. The law is due to come into force on January 1.

Georgia has been the filming location for several hit TV shows and movies, including one of Marvel’s biggest hits, “Black Panther.”

Such films and the production of wildly popular television series including “The Walking Dead” and “Stranger Things” have brought about $2.7 billion inflow into the Southern state from direct spending through 455 productions, the governor’s office announced last year.
Filmmakers JJ Abrams and Jordan Peele released a joint statement on Friday saying they would stand “side by side with the women of Georgia” as their new show “Lovecraft Country” begins filming in the state. They pledged to donate 100% of their episodic fees to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia, an electoral reform organization.

“Governor Kemp’s ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ abortion law is an unconstitutional effort to further prevent women and their care providers from making private medical decisions on their terms. Make no mistake, this is ‘an attack squarely and deliberately aimed at women,’ the joint statement read. . “We encourage those who are able to channel all resources to these organizations.”

On Thursday, Vachon, whose company has been behind films such as “Carol” and “Vox Lux,” made his position known on Twitter.

“Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia a viable filming location until this ridiculous law is overturned,” she said.

Simon tweeted, “I can’t ask any female member of a film production I’ve been involved with to marginalize herself to this extent or compromise her inalienable authority over her own body.”

“I must undertake a production where the rights of all citizens remain intact,” he wrote. “Other filmmakers will see this.”

Simon added: “I can only speak on behalf of my production company. Our comparative assessments of locations for upcoming development will remove Georgia from the list until we can be assured that health options and the civil liberties of our female colleagues are not compromised.”

Duplass’ company has a deal with Netflix, including the recent comedy-drama “Paddleton” starring Ray Romano and Duplass.

“Don’t give your business to Georgia,” Duplass tweeted. “Will you commit to me not filming anything in Georgia until they overturn this retrogressive legislation?”

But some in Hollywood have taken a wait-and-see attitude.

A representative from the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents the five major movie studios, said in a statement to CNN that it was monitoring legal efforts to overturn 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 said.

“It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states and has either been imposed by the courts or is currently being challenged. The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the court process. We will continue to follow the evolution of the situation.”

The state has actively courted Hollywood, passing a 30% tax credit in 2008 for productions shot in Georgia.

In March, actress Alyssa Milano wrote an open letter to Georgia House President David Ralston and Kemp against abortion legislation.

Hollywood Opposes Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat’ Bill

Dozens of other celebrities including Amy Schumer, Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, Don Cheadle, Rosie O’Donnell, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman and Mia Farrow have signed the letter of support.

“This dangerous and deeply flawed bill mimics many others that have already been ruled unconstitutional,” reads the letter, a copy of which Milano tweeted. “As men who identify as conservatives of small government, we remind you that government is never bigger than when it is inside a woman’s body or in her cabinet. doctor.”

Around the same time, the Writers Guild of America issued a statement warning that passing such legislation could cost Georgia Hollywood productions.

Milano is filming the second season of Netflix’s “Insatiable” in Georgia and said in a statement Friday that she would not return if filming continues in the state.

“‘Insatiable’ is filming in Georgia and I’m currently contractually obligated to stay there for another month,” Milano said. “But I will do everything in my power to get as many productions as possible – including ‘Insatiable’ – out of this state that continues to implement an oppressive and hurtful policy that contradicts everything the music industry stands for. entertainment.

“And if ‘Insatiable’ doesn’t move to another state, I won’t be able to return to the show if we’re lucky enough to have a third season.”

Helen D. Jessen