How ‘heartbeat’ abortion law could affect Georgia’s film industry

ATLANTA — Georgia’s pending abortion law has the potential to drive away some of the state’s booming film industry.

Some people in Hollywood are calling for the industry to leave Georgia over the “heartbeat” abortion law.

With the film industry in Georgia being bigger than ever, Atlanta’s status as the “Hollywood of the South” could come into question.

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“I think there will be some people who work in the industry who say they’re absolutely not going to film in Georgia,” Kennesaw State University economics professor J.C. Bradbury told Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon.

Director Nicholas Stoller has previously filmed in Georgia, but he said, ‘no more,’ with a since-deleted tweet that read, “Hey Hollywood no more shooting in Georgia.”

Bradbury says that while some in Hollywood might boycott the state because of the abortion law, he believes other film productions will stay in Georgia because the state’s tax credit is just too good.

“The reason the film industry is in Georgia is because Georgia pays the industry to film here. So the tax credits really give the film industry a 30% discount for filming here. And so if you’re making a 10 million dollar movie, you get three million off if you’re filming in Georgia,” Bradbury explained.

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When the “heartbeat” law first passed in 2019, many in Hollywood called for the film industry to boycott Georgia. The law was eventually struck down by a court.

Another court is expected to green-light the law which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around six weeks.

Wilfon reached out to the Georgia Film Office for an interview, but they declined. They did release a statement that read,

Georgia is the top location for film and television production, and we’ll continue to focus on the things that have brought us success and led to record-setting results in the state.

—  Georgia Film Office

Bradbury says moving productions to places like New York and California would cost the industry millions, which he believes puts their move out of the Peach Statein serious doubt.

“It’s quite a costly stand to take, so it will be interesting to see if film companies are really willing to forgo those lower filming costs,” Bradbury said.

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Wilfon reached out to Stoller who said that he loved filming in Atlanta. He just doesn’t like the abortion law.