Four production companies have made a stand against Georgia’s new abortion law.
Killer Films, Duplass Brothers Productions, Blown Deadline Productions and CounterNarrative Films have announced they will boycott doing business in the state as long as Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” which prohibits abortion except for limited cases, such as rape and incest, is on the books. The bill, which was signed into law Tuesday by Georgia governor Brian Kemp, will go into effect next January.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Killer Films’ CEO Christine Vachon tweeted Thursday that her company will “no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned.”
Duplass Brothers Productions’ Mark Duplass and Blown Deadline Productions’ David Simon also tweeted similar statements. Duplass, for instance, tweeted to his followers not to do business in Georgia, adding, “Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?” Simon tweeted that he couldn’t “ask any female 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.” He also added that “our comparative assessments of locations for upcoming development will pull Georgia off the list until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired.”
It’s expected that the law will face tons of legal trouble and be sent forward to the courts, which could result in the law being blocked or overturned. Regardless, folks who are monitoring the movements of popular production companies are avidly watching to see who else will boycott. So far, the companies aforementioned are the only ones who have announced their boycotts, while many more companies have stayed silent.
According to the article, the MPAA, which covers the five major studios in Hollywood, has stated its position, which is to watch the situation and decide on an action later. “Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families,” said the organization’s vice president of communications, Chris Ortman, to The Hollywood Reporter. “It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or is currently being challenged. The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process. We will continue to monitor developments.”
The organization’s statement regarding the personal financial impact is probably one of the main reasons more studios haven’t come out against doing business in Georgia. Aside from the cold business reason of it being cheaper to film in Georgia because of substantial tax breaks, there are also a lot of people in and outside of Georgia that rely on the Hollywood industry’s presence in the state to provide for themselves and their families. Taking jobs out of the state wouldn’t just send a point to the state government, it would also be holding many families financially hostage in the process.
In other words, the choice to remove business from Georgia is one that can’t be made lightly and, probably, the only studios who could successfully boycott are ones that haven’t become as entrenched in Georgia as the major studios. Many of today’s big blockbusters, including several Marvel films like the recent Avengers: Endgame, which has grossed over $2 billion in its first two weeks, were filmed in part in Georgia.
Shadow And Act reached out to Tyler Perry Studios and Will Packer Productions for comment and will update with any response.