LOS ANGELES (AP) — Georgia and Hollywood are worlds away from one another, physically and culturally, but irresistible tax incentives have turned the state into a filming powerhouse dubbed “Hollywood of the South.” Productions as big as Marvel Studios’ superhero blockbusters and shows like “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead” call the state home base, and some have not shied away from throwing their weight around when values clash with proposed laws.
But in the week since Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws, none of the major film or television studios have commented on the issue or altered production plans. The backlash has been limited to smaller production companies, like Color Force (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Killer Films (“First Reformed”), “The Wire” creator David Simon of Blown Deadline Productions (HBO’s “The Deuce”) and the Duplass Brothers Productions (HBO’s “Room 104”). Some actors and actresses, like Alyssa Milano, Mark Hamill and Mandy Moore, have suggested they will boycott filming in the state.
Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams, meanwhile, are proceeding with plans to shoot their HBO show “Lovecraft County” in Georgia in the next few weeks, but have said that they will donate 100% their “episodic fees” to organizations fighting the law including the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia.
The muted reaction is in striking contrast to what happened just three years ago when Netflix and Disney threatened to pull productions if a law allowing faith-based refusal of services to LGBTQ persons was passed. Other companies also publicly denounced that proposed law, including AMC, Time Warner, Lionsgate, Sony, NBC Universal and CBS.
Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. Unless it’s blocked in court, it is set to go into effect in 2020. The ACLU has already said the group will mount a legal challenge.
“Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families,” said Chris Ortman, a spokesman for the industry lobbying group The Motion Picture Association of America in a statement last week. “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 MPAA said it continues to monitor developments.
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Source:: Wtop – Entertainment