The film industry is taking a stand against Georgia’s controversial Heartbeat Bill. According to Time, several projects have already pulled out of filming in the state, including comedian Kristen Wiig’s upcoming comedy.
The bill was signed earlier this month on May 7 by Gov. Brian Kemp and effectively bans abortions after six weeks. The legislation has been hit with a slew of backlash and criticism from a number of celebrities and now, some of them are taking serious action.
A representative for Wiig confirmed to Time that her upcoming Lionsgate comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar — which she co-wrote and will also star in — has made the decision not to film in the southern state following the signing of the Heartbeat Bill.
The decision was echoed by director Reed Morano, who had been gearing up to scout locations in Georgia to film the upcoming Amazon Studios show The Power. Instead, the director canceled her trip and pulled out of filming in the state completely, a move that executive producers Jane Featherstone and Naomi De Pear said was a “direct response” to Kemp signing the abortion bill, CBS News reported.
“We feel we have to stand up for a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, and so while this is not a decision we have taken likely, we feel strongly that t is the right one at this point in time,” the producers said in a statement to the news outlet.
Kristen Wiig’s New Lionsgate Comedy Pulls Out of Georgia Following Anti-Abortion Bill Signing https://t.co/YWP5hicWvX— Variety (@Variety) May 21, 2019
Morano explained to Time that the decision to “instantly” stop the process of filming the upcoming series in Georgia was “no problem.”
“There is no way we could ever bring our money to that state by shooting there,” she said.
Director Reed Morano canceled her trip to Georgia for the upcoming series "The Power" in response to the so-called "heartbeat" abortion bill in Georgia. https://t.co/cdMn9jQ1WO— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 21, 2019
The decisions to pull The Power and Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar come after a number of celebrities, such as actress Alyssa Milano, have called for a boycott in the state that employs nearly 100,000 people in the film industry and generates billions of dollars.
While the bill was still making its way through the state’s legislature earlier this year, Milano penned an open letter pledging that she would refuse to work in the state if it was passed. A number of famous names added their signature to the letter, including Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, and Don Cheadle. Now after its passage, several filmmakers have vowed not to work in the state as well.
3 production companies say they won't film in Georgia in opposition to a newly signed law that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected.— CNN (@CNN) May 11, 2019
“Our industry is taking a stand,” actress Alyssa Milano said as she encouraged Hollywood to boycott. https://t.co/yXTYrntuRw pic.twitter.com/j44nKny32u
Gov. Kemp, however, is not losing any sleep over the call for a boycott.
“I understand that some folks don’t like this new law. I’m fine with that,” he said during the Georgia Republican convention last week, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“We’re elected to do what’s right — and standing up for precious life is always the right thing to do.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp mocked entertainment figures’ vows to boycott his state because of its new “heartbeat” abortion law, calling opponents ― including Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Sean Penn ― “C-list celebrities.” https://t.co/i2sJJpOvXX— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) May 20, 2019
“We are the party of freedom and opportunity. We value and protect innocent live — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk,” he added.