Two projects are leaving Georgia over the “Heartbeat Bill.”
According to reports, earlier this week director Reed Morano was expected to fly to Georgia to scout filming locations for a new TV series for Amazon Studios called “The Power.” The series is an adaptation of a novel by Naomi Alderman, where a young woman develops the power to release electricity from her fingers, changing the world in the process. Two location scouts hired by the show had been working in Savannah, Georgia in preparation for her arrival.
However, when Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the anti-abortion law on May 7th, which bans abortion after six weeks, Morano decided to shut down any possibility of filming the show in Georgia.
“We had no problem stopping the entire process instantly,” Morano, who won an Emmy for directing three episodes of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, told TIME. “There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there.”
While other producers and directors said they would boycott the state if the law goes into effect, Morano is one of the first directors to leave Georgia after the state passed the heartbeat bill publicly.
Kristen Wiig Pulls Out of filming in Georgia
Morano is not alone. According to TIME, a rep for actress Kristen Wiig also confirmed that her upcoming Lionsgate movie “Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar,” a project she co-wrote and will star in alongside Annie Mumolo, was also in preparations to film in Georgia until the signing of the bill.
If Hollywood continues to distance themselves, it could be damaging to Georgia’s economy. The industry hires nearly 100,000 people and generated $9.5 billion in total economic impact in 2018. “I think this is one of the ways where we know we can hit a state where it hurts,” Morano says.
People working in Georgia’s film industry are feeling “lost”
Time reports the effects of the boycott are already hurting the industry with producers searching elsewhere for filming locations. “I’m lost,” Tom Jordan, a cameraman, says. “I’ve been thinking about going out of state.”
But, Gov. Brian Kemp has dismissed the calls for a boycott, so far. “We are the party of freedom and opportunity. We value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk,” the governor said at a Republican convention last weekend.
Can the Georgia Boycott work?
It is important to note, Hollywood’s boycott of Georgia’s film industry could work – it has worked in the past. In 1964, in response to Atlanta social conservatives refusing to meet with Martin Luther King Jr., the CEO of Coca-Cola threatened to move the company out of Atlanta. As NPR pointed out in a 2015 report, the ultimatum worked and the event quickly sold out.
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Another production company chooses not to film in Georgia following the passing of the heartbeat bill. Following in the footsteps of Blown Deadline Productions and Killer Films, the Duplass Brothers Productions will not film in…