Production companies boycott Georgia over abortion law

Nearly half a dozen production companies have pledged not to do business in Georgia amid the signing of the state?€™s controversial abortion law.??

ATLANTA — Nearly half a dozen production companies have pledged not to do business in Georgia amid the signing of the state’s controversial abortion law.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed the so-called Heartbeat Bill into law Tuesday. It restricts most abortions after six weeks, making exceptions for incest and rape victims.

Among opponents’ arguments are women’s choice, health concerns and the timeline in which women can confirm they are expecting.

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By Thursday, production companies agreeing not to do business in Georgia included Duplass Brothers Production, and “The Wire” creator’s Blown Deadline’s Production.

“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,” David Simon tweeted.

A follow-up tweet said Simon would pull Georgia off his comparative assessments of locations for upcoming development “until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired.”

“I hope they stick to their guns,” said Marietta resident Lori Molander.

“I think that's great,” said Naemah Jarvis, a Decatur resident. “You know, maybe it will have them listening, because money talks."

Other Georgia residents say there’s a much bigger picture. At the moment, they don’t foresee the initial boycotts of smaller companies having a widespread impact.

“My understanding is it's not going to affect the booming film industry that exists here in Georgia,” Charles Duprey Langluis said.


Channel 2 Action News reached out to nearly a dozen industry groups, including state, city, and county film commissions, as well as nonprofits and studios.

Few responded to the request to weigh in on the boycotts. Others declined, citing a desire  to release one unified statement that had not been crafted yet.

But the founder of the Atlanta Pitch Summit, an annual event connecting writers, entrepreneurs and other talent to production companies, said it’s much too early to draw conclusions about widespread impact.

“What's going on right now is a very premature situation,” said TV and film producer, Ty Johnston-Chavis.

The mother of four said the intersection of politics, beliefs and business is sticky.

“You say to yourself, 'How long would you really boycott? Would you really boycott for up to three years that it could go on in court? Would you care to even move your business to, you know, Louisiana?’” Johnston-Chavis said. “So you know the incentives kind of play out into this point as well in the State of Georgia and I truly believe that whatever's going to play out, it will truly take some time.”

In a statement to the Hollywood Reporte,r the group representing five major film studios echoed Johnston-Chavis’ thoughts.

The Motion Pictures Association of America noted similar legislation in others states that had been overturned or challenged. The group said it would follow developments in Georgia.