On Tuesday, Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed “the heartbeat bill” that prohibits abortions from occurring after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy, sparking controversy among both lawmakers and the public alike. And in response to the legislation’s passage into law, three prominent production companies have pledged to no longer film in the state as long as the law is in place, Hollywood Reporter reports.
In March, George Takei, Alyssa Milano, and June Diane Raphael criticized the bill when the Georgia General Assembly approved it in a 92 to 78 vote. Christine Vachon, the CEO of Killer Films—responsible for Vox Lux, First Reformed, and Carol, tweeted Thursday that its producers will "no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned."
David Simon, who created The Wire and The Deuce and runs Blown Deadline Productions, announced similarly on Twitter. "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," he said. "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."
Mark Duplass, co-creator of Duplass Brothers Productions, echoed the sentiments of his colleagues. "Don’t give your business to Georgia," he wrote. "Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?"
And while Hollywood has expressed discontent with the newly signed legislation, Vachon, Simon, and Duplass are outliers. The Motion Picture Association of America, a trade association comprised of five filming studio giants as well as Netflix, stated that it would wait on the outcomes of court challenges 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," said MPAA senior vice president of communications Chris Ortman. "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."