#WeAreGeorgia is a new campaign to keep the cameras rolling in Georgia following the #BoycottGeorgia backlash.
Following the recent election victory of Brian Kemp as Georgia’s new governor, Hollywood’s celebrities and influencers called for a boycott of the state’s film industry. As a result, #BoycottGeorgia went viral.
On Monday, during a press conference where Gov.-elect Brian Kemp announced his transition team, he voiced his support of a tax credit for Georgia’s film industry.
Brian Kemp on the #BoycottGeorgia
Kemp responded directly to the #BoycottGeorgia campaign saying, “I’ve been on record since day one of the campaigns in supporting [the film tax credit], even when others said I wasn’t for political reasons,” Kemp said. “I’m not worried about what some activist from Hollywood is saying about the elections process in Georgia. They should call the county elections office and find out what really happened in this state because of that record turnout.”
Kemp added that he could do it what it takes to keep the film tax credit in the state.
“I’m going to continue to protect the film tax credit. The people I met with during the campaign – that’s what they are concerned about,” Kemp said. “They like our business environment. They like our low-cost environment: same reason our ports are doing good. There’s so much bureaucracy on the West Coast, a lot of that business is moving to Georgia.”
Democrat Stacey Abrams said the film industry should not boycott Georgia and artists are rallying behind with a campaign called #WeAreGeorgia started by Atlanta actor Bethany Anne Lind.
Lind, who plays a recurring role on the Georgia-filmed series Ozark and Greenleaf, told WABE, “We’re not famous,” Lind said. “We don’t have millions of followers on social media, but we are here, we’re doing the work. Loving our neighbors.”
Georgia’s booming film industry
In the last fiscal year, Gov. Deal said the film and TV industry had a multi-billion dollar impact on the state’s economy. There were over 400 film and TV productions shot in Georgia in the fiscal year 2018.
In Georgia, industry groups said the film and TV industry was responsible for 92,100 jobs and over $4 billion in total wages, including indirect jobs and pay. Since 2010, more than 300 new businesses have moved or expanded to support the film industry.
But, the biggest concern may come down to the Religious Freedom Bill.
Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed ab ill that many called discriminatory towards the LGBTQ community and other groups. If Gov. Deal had signed the bill, it would have granted Georgia religious nonprofits the ability to deny services to same-sex couples.
Kemp said he would only sign a religious liberty bill if it were identical to the federal bill that became law in 1993.