Kemp tours Georgia movie studios to tamp down fallout from abortion law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) postponed a trip to Los Angeles and instead toured movie studios in Atlanta on Wednesday to show his support for the industry in the wake of threats by production companies to boycott the state over a restrictive recently passed abortion law.

The governor, who signed a so-called heartbeat bill earlier this month, which bans abortions after six weeks, visited the state-funded Georgia Film Academy and another nearby studio, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.


He later said in a statement the industry “generates economic opportunity in every corner of our great state,” according to the AJC. Georgia claimed $9.5 billion in total economic impact from the film industry in fiscal 2017, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Kemp was originally supposed to fly to Los Angeles on Wednesday to go to an event in Hollywood but, in light of unrest and threats to boycott, he last week decided to postpone the trip.

Even before the law was passed, dozens of actors, including Alyssa Milano, Amy SchumerAmy Beth SchumerCuomo announces performance initiative to revive New York's arts economy Paul Rudd hands out cookies to long lines of early voters waiting in rain Star-studded 'Telethon for America' seeks to get out the vote MORE and Gabrielle Union, expressed their opposition to the proposal, which bans abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected. 

And this week, more companies and actors have joined the list of industry members who say they’ll stop working in Georgia if the law takes effect in January.

But despite the protests and vows to boycott, the industry’s response to the legislation isn’t entirely in opposition. Some people have reportedly said they'd stay put in Georgia, while others — such as actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry — haven’t taken a public stance, The New York Times reports.

Major players in the entertainment sector — Disney, Warner Bros. and Netflix, for instance — have, more or less, stayed out of the debate, the Times reports.

Experts have noted companies “want to align with young consumers” when they take clear stances on issues, “because that’s their future,” University of Pennsylvania professor Mary-Hunter McDonnell told the Times. But abortion is a tough call, as there’s “more debate and uncertainty with that population about how to feel.”