The Writer’s Guild of America calls out Georgia politicians putting the future of the film industry, billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs on the line.
Georgia’s film industry is on fire. The state’s film tax credits have caused dozens of productions to flee the streets and studios of Los Angeles to the Peach State. In fact, according to the MPAA, the film and TV industry is responsible for nearly 100,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in total wages in Georgia, including other indirect jobs and wages. The Georgia governor’s office says the film industry generated $2.7 billion in direct spending during the fiscal year.
But, a new proposed anti-abortion law could destroy Georgia’s film industry. According to a new report by Deadline, the WGA issued a statement today that could send the state’s film industry packing.
Georgia’s Senate has approved a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. But, to become law it must be approved by the Georgia House of Representatives and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.
“This law would make Georgia an inhospitable place for those in the film and television industry to work, including our members,” the WGA East and West said in a joint statement. “If the Georgia Legislature and Governor Kemp make HB 481 law, it is entirely possible that many of those in our industry will either want to leave the state or decide not to bring productions there. Such is the potential cost of a blatant attack on every woman’s right to control her own body.
“The cost would be most deeply felt by the residents of Georgia – including those who directly work in the film and television industry, and those who benefit from the many millions of dollars it pours into the local economy.”
The proposed law, the WGA said, “is a draconian anti-choice measure that would, in essence, constitute a state-wide ban on abortion since a fetal heartbeat is usually detectable approximately six weeks into pregnancy before many women are aware they are pregnant or have had a reasonable time to consider their options.”
“The WGA East and West condemn the passage of HB 481 in the Georgia State Legislature,” the guilds said. “We urge Speaker (David) Ralston and the Georgia House of Representatives not to approve the recently passed Senate version. If they do, we urge Governor Kemp to veto the bill.
“Governor Kemp, Speaker Ralston and the Georgia House of Representatives have it within their power to avert what is both an affront to women and potential economic harm to their constituents. They should prevent HB 481 from becoming law, not only to protect the vibrant film and television industry in their state but because it is the right thing to do.”
Stacey Abrams, who ran for Georgia governor last year and lost, tweeted “There is no film industry without storytellers. Thank you @WGAEast & @WGAWest for standing up for women and their doctors. You understand what’s at stake. #HB481 is a terrible, cynical assault on bodily autonomy and thoughtful medical care. And #HB481isBadForBusiness. #gapol”
There is no film industry without storytellers. Thank you @WGAEast & @WGAWest for standing up for women and their doctors. You understand what’s at stake. #HB481 is a terrible, cynical assault on bodily autonomy and thoughtful medical care. And #HB481isBadForBusiness. #gapol https://t.co/dlzgSee67s
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 27, 2019