LOS ANGELES - Former Georgia gubernatorial nominee and activist Stacey Abrams flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday to meet with Hollywood executives and other industry officials, encouraging them to not boycott Georgia because of the controversial heartbeat abortion law.
Hollywood has made a huge investment in Georgia, bringing in about $9 billion in direct and indirect investment.
Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday, where he spoke with Abrams after those meetings.
Some in the Hollywood film industry are threatening to boycott Georgia because of the Heartbeat Abortion Law. I’m in Los Angeles as former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams says she’s meeting with some film execs to convince them not to boycott. pic.twitter.com/AVpYKBcSML— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) June 11, 2019
"It was a really solid meeting. I was very excited by the energy and the attendances. It was a packed room," Abrams said. "My mission is to make sure these jobs stay in Georgia. That should be everyone’s mission."
Earlier in the day, Elliot met with a Hollywood insider who said he doesn’t think the film industry can pick up and leave Georgia anytime soon.
Matt Donnelly is a senior writer with Variety Magazine. He’s been following the heartbeat abortion law controversy from the Hollywood side for months now.
“A lot of what we cover here at Variety is how deeply laid infrastructure the studios have in Georgia, is not easily pulled out. It’s not turning off a switch. So, it would be a great expense,” Donnelly said.
Abrams’ visit is not going over well with some Republicans back in Georgia.
In a statement, state GOP chair David Shafer wondered why Abrams was in Hollywood at all.
“Stacey Abrams is not the governor, but Hollywood is the perfect place for her to pretend to be one.”
Still, Abrams feels she’s in a good position to ask Hollywood to hold off on any boycott.
Donnelly said given the up to 30% tax break from the state, a lot of Hollywood wants to stay in Georgia.
“I don’t think you’ll see it happen overnight, but I think largely, there’s still a massive silent prayer that this issue gets kicked to a higher court and shot down,” Donnelly told Elliot.
Abrams said the executives were receptive to what she was saying, but no word if any of them plan to rescind their statements saying they might rethink their investments.
Christian Jennings joined Channel 2 Action News in March 2018 as a general assignment reporter. She grew up in Gwinnett County and is thrilled to call Atlanta her home again.
Jennings came to WSB-TV with a decade of reporting experience. She began her career at WALB-TV in Albany, Georgia. During her time there, The Associated Press recognized her for a series of live reports she did from the Gulf Coast on the BP oil spill. She also won a Georgia AP Award for best spot news coverage.
After spending a few years in south Georgia, she reported in New Orleans for the ABC affiliate WGNO-TV. Jennings’ next move was to Mobile, Alabama, where she worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor at WPMI-TV. While in Mobile, Jennings won an Alabama Broadcasters Association award for her reporting on the 2016 Baton Rouge police shooting, which claimed the lives of three officers. Jennings traveled quite a bit during her time at WPMI, covering events like the Super Bowl in New Orleans and Hurricane Harvey in Texas for Sinclair Broadcast Group stations across the country.
Jennings and her husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world in September 2018. They enjoy trying new restaurants and taking long walks on the Beltline with their dog, Zoey.
Fun fact: Jennings interned at WSB when she was a student at the University of Georgia. Returning to Channel 2 is a dream come true for her.