The buzz growing out of Hollywood from celebrities who’ve been threatening to boycott Georgia over Republican Brian Kemp’s victory in last week’s election for governor has apparently gotten too loud for Stacey Abrams. The rising Democratic Party star believes that hurting the local economy would only prove counteractive to constituents.
The Atlanta Constitution Journal reports that Abrams took to social media to discourage the idea of divestment after Alyssa Milano and Ron Perlman added their voices to a call for industry titans to avoid doing business in the state. Milano voiced her dissent via Twitter shortly after Abrams admitted defeat in the contentious race. The socially active actress informed followers who were just as outraged as she was over allegations of voter suppression that there are nearly two dozen productions in progress in Georgia. She closed her tweet by questioning whether Hollywood execs will allow such a controversial administration to benefit from Hollywood’s growing presence going forward.
Perlman built upon Milano’s statement by declaring that he’ll be “happy to lead the exodus.” He also let it be known to his industry connections that whoever refuses to join a potential protest could forget about working with him in the future. Their pleas came one week after actor Bradley Whitford pushed for the “BoycottGeorgia” hashtag to go viral in a message that accused Kemp of being “a corrupt, homophobic, unapologetic disenfranchiser of African American voters.”
There are over 20 productions shooting in Georgia.
Is the entertainment industry willing to support the economy of a totally corrupt state that suppresses democracy; where the winner isn’t the best choice for the people but the best schemer or crook?
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) November 17, 2018
To all my friends who are studio and network executives, if you choose to shoot movies and tv in Georgia, don’t bother to call me. https://t.co/gtIKNJBhNF
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) November 17, 2018
“If he seizes power, Hollywood needs to use it’s leverage and pull out of Georgia. Studios need to put their money where their mouth is and stand up to hate,” Whitford following the initial election day results. Among those who backed the call-to-action was Steven Pasquale, who pointed out that the entertainment industry has billions of dollars worth of leverage on its side should the powers that be choose to pressure the political will of legislators in the state.
I appreciate the calls to action, but I ask all of our entertainment industry friends to support #FairFightGA – but please do not #boycottgeorgia. The hard-working Georgians who serve on crews & make a living here are not to blame. I promise: We will fight – and we will win.
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 18, 2018
While Abrams acknowledges that Kemp’s 55,000 vote margin of victory would have been too overwhelming to overcome, she has underscored the fact that she didn’t believe the election to be fair, and therefore could not see herself conceding that her platform was actually defeated. Her resignation from the contest marked the end of a battle to expose how, under Kemp’s watch, accounts surfaced to tell of polls and precincts being closed early, voter rolls being purged, and scores of absentee ballots being discarded over small discrepancies.
Still, the ex-congresswoman doesn’t see how punishing citizens who could stand to lose their jobs in a prospective boycott would help the cause. In a tweet she published late Saturday, Abrams requested that those interested in remedying the dysfunctions that her campaign ran into instead consider supporting the Fight Fair Georgia voting rights initiative that Vanity Fair cited her as having created.