Hollywood taking a stand against a brand new law in Georgia. Some moviemakers say they won’t do business in the Peach State unless the state changes its stance on abortion.
The law says once a fetal heartbeat is detected, abortions are illegal in Georgia.
“Wait and see,” is what the Augusta Film Office and Columbia County Involvement Authorities have to say about hollywood’s boycott.
Even though we may have to “wait and see” the impact it could have, Augusta is preparing for what could transform the film industry in the entire state.
When it comes to movies, Augusta is part of the spotlight.
Director of Augusta Regional Film Office, Brad Owens, says, “in Augusta we’ve had about seven full length feature films, including ‘The Mule’ with Clint Eastwood. we’ve had ‘Saving Zoe’, ‘Bad Encounter’ and ‘Savannah Sunrise’, and ‘The Reason’ and quite a few movies that have come to town.”
But with Governor Kemp signing the Heartbeat Bill, A-List actors are not just saying “no” to Augusta, but they are saying “no” to the entire state of Georgia.
“Anybody that doesn’t choose Georgia, certainly isn’t going to choose Augusta,” says Owens.
If Augusta is not first on the list, it could have negative long term impacts.
“Right now it’s a small group that’s being pretty vocal. So, what we hope is that if the larger industry guys got on the bandwagon with it and moved forward, yeah it could have a detrimental effect locally,” says Owens.
Filmmakers choose Augusta for the simplicity of production.
“Locations is one, others is the availability of crews and services, ease of doing business and the cost of doing business,” says Owens.
He says he hopes political views don’t get in the way of business.
“I would hope that any law that was passed in Georgia that didn’t have anything directly to do with the film industry would not be taken into consideration when someone was picking or choosing Georgia for their production,” says Owens.
But, he says, the show must go on.
“Decisions made by production companies to come or not, I think are mostly economic, but there is a lot of pressure that could be bought to bear on these producers to not do business here. I just hope that people would think and wait and see the impact before they did that,” says Owens.
The bill doesn’t go into effect until next year.