On Tuesday, the governor of Georgia signed a law effectively banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy

By Helen Murphy
May 10, 2019 09:22 AM
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Credit: Getty

Three production companies said they will no longer film in Georgia after the state passed a controversial abortion law.

On Tuesday, Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, signed a law that effectively bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy according to the New York Times. The Times reports that six weeks of pregnancy is usually when doctors can start to detect a fetal heartbeat, but it is also before many women realize they are pregnant.

As a result of the new law — which will go into effect in 2020 unless it is blocked by a court challenge — some Hollywood industry figures are calling for production companies to stop filming in the state.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Georgia’s tax incentives make it a popular location to shoot films and television series. (For example, Black Panther, The Walking Dead and Stranger Things have all been shot in the state.)

David Simon, who created The Wire and now runs Blown Deadline Productions wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: “I can’t ask any female member 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. Other filmmakers will see this.”

In a follow-up tweet, Simon continued, “Can only speak for my production company. 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.”

Meanwhile, CEO of Killer Films Christine Vachon tweeted on Thursday: “Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned.” The company is behind movies including Vox Lux and Carol.

Mark Duplass, who started the production company Duplass Brothers Productions with his brother, also shared a similar message.

“Don’t give your business to Georgia,” he wrote on Thursday. “Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?”

Despite the statements from these three companies, THR notes that many major film studios have not put out a similar message.

The Motion Picture Association of America — which represents five big film studios — told THR that it will “monitor developments” in the law before making a decision.

“Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families,” an MPAA spokesperson told the outlet. “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.”

Celebrities including Alyssa Milano and Busy Philipps have also spoken out about the new abortion law.

“SO F—D UP,” Milano tweeted on Wednesday in reference to the law, while also retweeting similar sentiments.

Meanwhile, Philipps shared her own abortion story on Tuesday night’s episode of Busy Tonight in response to the signing of the law.

“The statistic is that one in four women will have an abortion before age 45,” the actress said. “That statistic sometimes surprises people, and maybe you’re sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t know a woman who would have an abortion.’”

Busy Philipps

“Well, you know me,” she added, visibly emotional. “I had an abortion when I was 15 years old and I’m telling you this because I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over the country.”

After the show, Philipps wrote on Twitter, “I spoke about my abortion on my show tonight because I can not sit idly by while women’s rights are stripped away.”