Despite Hollywood’s backlash against Georgia’s “heartbeat” anti-abortion law, Tyler Perry says he can not “just up and leave” filming in Georgia.
On Friday, Tyler Perry discussed with The Associated Press about his huge Atlanta-based studio. Some celebrities have urged producers to stop filming in the state after Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the abortion bill in May.
But, Tyler Perry, said he is committed to staying in Georgia.
"Atlanta has been the dream. It has been the promised land," he said. "So when I got here, this whole state and city has been amazing to me and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Also, I put $250 million in the ground here and in the studio. So when you have a quarter of a billion dollars sat down in the ground, you can't just up and leave."
Tyler Perry has not been very open about his position on the law. But the filmmaker told the Associated Press he is not a proponent.
"I don't believe any man should be able to tell a woman what she can do with her body or reproductive organs," he said.
Perry said the people who help Georgia’s film industry can have a major impact in the 2022 governor’s election.
"What I know about this industry is that there are 94,000-plus or 98,000 people who are in this industry and who are benefiting from it greatly," he said. "And that's a lot of votes. I'm in a wait and see moment right now. But that's a lot of votes. That's a lot of votes that can determine an election."
Tyler Perry is set to unveil his new studio complex next week.
What is the heartbeat bill?
The law bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy before many women realize they are pregnant. The law is set to become enforceable on January 1st.
Some actors including Alyssa Milano, Mark Hamill, and Mandy Moore have suggested a boycott against filming in Georgia. Other filmmakers such as Jordan Peele and J.j. Abrams, who are currently filming their HBO series “Lovecraft Country,” will donate all of their “episodic fees” to organizations to fight the heartbeat bill including Fair Fight Georgia and the ACLU of Georgia.