“The Walking Dead” plans to boycott Georgia’s film industry if the “heartbeat” law goes into effect.
Georgia’s future in the film industry is still up in the air after Brian Kemp, the governor, signed into law one of America’s most restrictive abortion bills in recent history. AMC is joining Netflix and Disney as they reevaluate their filmmaking relationship with the state.
According to Forbes, AMC is threatening to permanently move their show out of Georgia to another state. “If this highly restrictive legislation goes into effect, we will reevaluate our activity in Georgia,” an AMC spokesperson said in a statement. “Similar bills — some even more restrictive — have passed in multiple states and have been challenged. This is likely to be a long and complicated fight and we are watching it all very closely.”
Georgia has been the primary filming location for “The Walking Dead” since the very first season with many of the show’s cast and crew choosing to make the state their home filmmaking location. Other companies threatened to leave Georgia include NBC, CBS, Viacom and Sony.
It is important to note how important “The Walking Dead” is to Georgia’s housing market. The show films in Senoia, approximately 40 miles from Atlanta. The town Senoia doubles for “The Walking Dead”. In fact, in 2014 producers asked to stop construction on an-in-fill housing development and construct a wall around it so that the look could be maintained for the show. As a result, seven families already living there landed deals to live in the zombie zone during the filming months of May to November.
Senoia has benefited from “The Walking Dead”. According to Zillow, the average home value nearly doubled since “The Walking Dead” started filming in Senoia, Georgia. There are more than 50 businesses on Main Street and the population has doubled. The city has become a tourist attraction for “The Walking Dead” fans and nearby residents of Peachtree City. There are multiple tours, a “Walking Dead Store” and a Walking Dead Cafe.
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