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David Simon defends pulling HBO shoot from Texas over abortion law
"The Wire" creator David Simon is defending his decision to avoid filming in Texas in protest of the state's controversial abortion law, saying "securing and maintaining the civil liberties" of his production staff is his responsibility.
Simon asked his more than 325,000 Twitter followers on Monday for suggestions for other places that resemble the Dallas and Fort Worth areas for an upcoming HBO series he penned based on events in Texas. But, he said, he "can't and won't ask female cast/crew to forgo civil liberties" to film in the Lone Star State due to its restrictive new law.
The legislation signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), sometimes called a "fetal heartbeat bill," took effect earlier this month. It bans abortions in the state at approximately six weeks, before many women are aware they are pregnant.
The Dallas Film & Creative Industries Office pushed back on Simon's comment on Tuesday, writing, "Laws of a state are not reflective of its entire population," and that the move would only "further disenfranchise those that live here."
Simon, 61, replied: "You misunderstand completely. My response is NOT rooted in any debate about political efficacy or the utility of any boycott."
"My singular responsibility is to securing and maintaining the civil liberties of all those we employ during the course of a production," the author and former journalist said.
Simon said Wednesday that the preemptive move to find alternative filming locations was "not a political decision."
"We can't ethically ask any female cast/crew to relocate to any state that requires them to forgo civil liberties," he said. "The end."