ATLANTA — More than 40 Hollywood celebrities signed a letter sent to the Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Thursday morning saying they will push TV and film production companies to abandon Georgia if the “heartbeat” abortion bill is signed into law.
Among those who signed the letter: Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union, Rosie O’Donnell, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Essence Atkins, Uzo Aduba, Christina Applegate, Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, Atlanta native David Cross, Don Cheadle, Mia Farrow, Colin Hanks, Bradley Whitford and Amber Tamblyn.
Alyssa Milano, who made a protest comment on Twitter last Friday after the bill passed the Senate, spearheaded the letter. She is currently in Atlanta shooting Netflix’s comedy “Insatiable.”
The letter opens by complimenting the state as being hospitable with “friendly and caring people” and hotels and restaurants that are “comfortable and of high quality.” It also notes that Hollywood production companies have provided Georgia billions in economic activity over the past decade since the state passed generous production tax credits.
“But we cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia if H.B. 481 becomes law,” the letter said.
The bill, which prohibits most abortions after six weeks from conception, could come to a vote as early as Thursday in the House. If it passes, it goes to Kemp's desk. Kemp is expected to sign it. Courts in Iowa and Kentucky, which passed similar bills, quickly struck them down.
The letter said: “This dangerous and deeply-flawed bill mimics many others which have already been deemed unconstitutional. As men who identify as small-government conservatives, we remind you that government is never bigger than when it is inside a woman’s body or in her doctor’s office. This bill would remove the possibility of women receiving reproductive healthcare before most even know they are pregnant and force many women to undergo unregulated, hidden procedures at great risk to their health.”
While TV and film production companies have largely stayed on the sidelines regarding this bill, these actors and the Writers Guild of America have chosen to go public in their opposition. Creative types do have some influence (if not real control) over where they work and if enough refuse to work in Georgia, that might sway production to move to other states, or countries such as Canada, with comparable incentives.
They finish the letter like this: "We want to stay in Georgia. We want to continue to support the wonderful people, businesses, and communities we have come to love in the Peachtree State. But we will not do so silently, and we will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if H.B. 481 becomes law. You have a choice, gentlemen. We pray you make the right one."
This article was written by Rodney Ho, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Cox Media Group