Georgia abortion law placing 92,000 film industry jobs at risk


"The Walking Dead" - © AMC

Georgia is facing a Hollywood boycott since passing a new abortion law that will ban abortions in the state after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The abortion law has been strongly criticized as an attack on women, and notable activists including Alyssa Milano have gathered support calling for a boycott of the state.

This week, directors J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele issued a public statement regarding their upcoming shoot for “Lovecraft Country” in Georgia, saying that they would donate 100% of their episodic fees to organizations fighting the new abortion law.

The directors criticized the new law saying: “Governor Kemp’s ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Abortion Law is an unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms. Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women.”

Actress Alyssa Milano secured more than 50 signatures from prominent actors and directors threatening to boycott the state back in March, and a number of production companies have already pledged not to shoot their upcoming films in the state.

Milano on Saturday also called for a sex strike and asked women to join her in not having sex until “we get bodily autonomy back” which has divided opinion on social media.

Since Georgia introduced generous tax breaks and incentives, many Hollywood productions and TV series have filmed in the state. Film tax credits have led to 455 film and TV productions being shot in the state in 2018 alone, up 1000% since 2008, bringing in an estimated $2.7 billion of spending. Notable productions filmed in Georgia include “The Walking Dead,” “Ozark” and “Tag.”

As the Hollywood boycott gathers pace, shooting in Georgia may prove to be a PR nightmare for production companies that don’t want to be seen as supporting the law which faces strong opposition nationally. Productions may choose to shoot in other states to avoid a public backlash and Hollywood studios are considering whether to reduce investments in the state - which would lead to job losses for local filmmakers if large budget movies and TV series were moved out of Georgia.

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