Pro-Choice States Target Georgia’s Billion Dollar Film Business

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Georgia’s passage of one of the country’s strictest abortion laws has triggered a nationwide competition to lure TV and film production from the state in the event of a boycott.

Production in Georgia was responsible for an estimated $9.5 billion in economic impact last year, according to the state, so there’s plenty at stake.

“We’re seeing studios and talent considering the social impact of being more particular in picking the place where they shoot,” said Adrienne Willis, executive and artistic director of Lumberyard Center for Film and the Performing Arts in Catskill, New York, about two hours’ drive north of New York City.

Willis said she’s trying to attract productions to her facility by drawing a contrast between the new “fetal heartbeat law,” set to take effect Jan. 1, and the fact that Lumberyard is run by a woman. She said the number of inquiries she’s received has tripled since May, when Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the legislation into law.

Georgia’s tax incentives and spending credits made it such a darling of Hollywood that the state surpassed California as the favorite setting for TV and film production in the U.S.

But the abortion law puts it in opposition to the more liberal entertainment industry, which finds itself increasingly at odds with state legislatures that have conflicting political agendas. Indiana and North Carolina, which tried to regulate the use of public restrooms, and now Georgia, with abortion, are among the states that have drawn boycott threats. See more here.

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