Dear Hollywood: Get the hell out of Georgia. Now.
“I understand the tax breaks are terrific, the geography diverse, the cost of living cheap and heaven knows it’s hard to beat an ice-cold glass of sweet tea when you need a pick-me-up. But by criminalizing abortion after six weeks, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp just turned the millions you save, and the billions you infuse into the state economy, into blood money…”
She addresses productions that shoot in the state
“It is not a good look for the “Hollywood of the South,” and many in the entertainment industry have already threatened to boycott. The WGA took issue with the “draconian anti-choice” law, Alyssa Milano sent Kemp a letter signed by more than 50 well-known actors, and David Simon engaged on Twitter.
The MPAA also issued a more toothless statement, noting that the law may be delayed by the courts and that it is “monitoring the situation.” And studios, including Disney, which threatened to take its business out of Georgia if the state passed an anti-LGBTQ law in 2016, haven’t said much this week.
In other words, reap those tax breaks while ye may.
Whether or not the law is delayed or struck down, Georgia is sending a message to its fellow Americans and those fellow Americans should respond.
And not by continuing to pour billions into the Georgia economy and allowing the Georgia tourist bureau to use shows like “Stranger Things,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Ozark” and movies like “Ant-Man” and “Avengers: Infinity War” to lure visitors.
It’s one thing if your show or movie is actually set in Atlanta. It’s another if you are using Georgia to pose for Missouri or Indiana or wherever else you once asked Toronto to fake.
Yes, Georgia has coastlines and forests and hills and hollers, but you know what? So do a lot of states. My home state of Maryland is called America in Miniature for a reason, and they have sweet tea there as well.
Yes, many people in the local creative community would lose their jobs, but many of those workers are also women, and turning a blind eye on a law designed to frighten, punish and harm millions of women to preserve even 90,000 temporary jobs (even “The Walking Dead” won’t last forever) makes no sense.
Those production jobs won’t disappear: they will just go to other worthy workers in other states. But if Hollywood can use its financial muscle to try to protect millions of women by making the new law deeply unappealing to Georgia’s lawmakers, it must.
And let’s be honest, no one decided to shoot in Georgia because of a desire to aid local workers. Georgia became a center of production only a decade ago when the state significantly upped its tax breaks. And if those tax breaks dried up, Hollywood would be out of there in a hot second, local workers be damned.
So it’s really all about the money, and that money means something very different now. The majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal and any woman who has ever been pregnant will tell you that the six-week rule effectively bans all abortions.
Hollywood, my friend, boycotts work in all sorts of ways. In an oversaturated screen culture, even really good shows and films struggle to find large sustaining audiences. In an age of digital disruption, networks, studios and streaming services are constantly fighting for domination.
So maybe it’s not the best idea to continue supporting a state that just produced an unconstitutional, lethal piece of legislation aimed directly at women.
And she says they need to get the fuck out – NOW!
“Instead of “monitoring the situation” to see whether the law holds or not, Hollywood needs to leave now and return only when it is over-turned.
Hollywood executives should ask themselves how much those tax breaks will be worth if more than half the country decides to vote with their remote and boycott those shows and films made by people who decided to take a tax break rather than take a stand.”
My industry has to pull out of Georgia now! Dear Hollywood: Georgia's new abortion law means you have to stop shooting there. Now – Los Angeles Times https://t.co/WMxSCenlTr— Candis Cayne (@candiscayne) May 11, 2019
You can read the whole column here.