With sweeping tax credits provided to film and television productions that spend more than $500,000 in the state, Georgia is the second most popular filming location in the world and number one in the United States.
It's likely you've seen the state onscreen in productions like The Walking Dead and Black Panther. In 2017, film and television productions brought nearly $10 billion in spending to the state.
That might change soon.
Today, HB 481—effectively banning abortion in GA—passed out of committee on a party & gender line vote. Every male… https://t.co/oydsreyH3r— Stacey Abrams (@Stacey Abrams)1552930518.0
After a push from Georgia's Democratic nominee for governor in last year's election, Stacey Abrams, denizens of the film and television industry are threatening to boycott filming in Georgia should the state pass House Bill 481.
The bill states:
"It shall be the policy of the State of Georgia to recognize the presence of a fetal heartbeat as the point of “fetal viability,” creating a compelling state interest to protect 'the independent essence of the second life' as an 'object of state protection' from abortion; and It shall be the policy of the State of Georgia to recognize unborn children as natural persons who qualify for state income tax deductions and state population based determinations."
Effectively, the bill would ban abortion at the presence of a fetal heartbeat. These heartbeats normally occur around six weeks after conception—before many women even know they are pregnant.
Fifty actors have signed an open letter to Georgia's governor Brian Kemp and Speaker of the House David Ralston, which states in part:
"We cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia if H.B. 481 becomes law."
Actor and activist Alyssa Milano delivered the letter via Twitter on Thursday.
To @BrianKempGA & Speaker Ralston: Attached, is an open letter signed by 50 actors against #HB481. On behalf of the… https://t.co/2rQ2aKkWqs— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano)1553773133.0
The letter is signed by notable actors like Sean Penn, Laverne Cox, Debra Messing, Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin and others.
Many have spoken out on Twitter as well.
I’m in opposition to #HB481. If you’re #Georgia resident pls call Call Gov. Kemp 404-656-1776 Speaker Ralston 40… https://t.co/lJWJ25hKt2— Morgan J. Freeman (@Morgan J. Freeman)1553783484.0
I’m in opposition to #HB481. If you’re #Georgia resident pls call Call Gov. Kemp 404-656-1776 Speaker Ralston 40… https://t.co/qUTyWDtVRm— Piper Perabo (@Piper Perabo)1553783247.0
Co-sign. #HB481isBadForBusiness https://t.co/kWLuKQcdh1— Seth Green (@Seth Green)1553789262.0
What in the world?? Come on Georgia! #HB481IsBadForBusiness https://t.co/kXG43CU3rC— tara strong (@tara strong)1553280125.0
I trust women to make their own decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures. Politicians have no p… https://t.co/XMp0XSzPZV— Gabby Sidibe (@Gabby Sidibe)1553262948.0
But it's not just actors speaking out.
The Writers Guild of America has also spoken out against the bill.
WGAE and @WGAWest oppose Georgia's abortion ban legislation #HB481. This draconian anti-choice law would discourage… https://t.co/pk7GTiSj0U— Writers Guild of America, East (@Writers Guild of America, East)1553641506.0
As well as a bevy of others.
Women could be imprisoned for the use of drugs--even legal, prescribed drugs--while pregnant. This bill is moving w… https://t.co/UDF7zXz6VE— ilyse hogue (@ilyse hogue)1553530064.0
Amazon, Coke execs. send letter opposing 'heartbeat' abortion bill https://t.co/4mYCUurpIw https://t.co/Zegxfx9MLG— 11Alive News (@11Alive News)1553552725.0
So #HB481 passed. Abortions in GA will be restricted to 6 weeks — before women usually even know they’re pregnant.… https://t.co/3A9zyOxKXM— CiCi Adams🌸 (@CiCi Adams🌸)1553292219.0
H.B. 481 has passed a Georgia House committee. Action is needed.
Let Georgia legislators and Governor Brian Kemp know what you think using the hashtag #HB481IsBadForBusiness. Contact information for Georgia officials and scripts expressing opposition to the bill (as well as other issues) are available here.
Update: The Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 481. It will now be sent to the desk of Republican Governor Brian Kemp, where he is expected to ratify it.