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Georgia Democrats Are Cautioning Against a Hollywood Boycott. One Is Coming Anyway.

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A woman speaks during a protest against recently passed abortion ban bills at the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, on May 21st, 2019.

In the weeks since Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp made good on one of his campaign promises and signed into law legislation making abortion illegal after six weeks and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a slew of Hollywood actors, executives, and other studio bigwigs have all doubled down on their pledges to avoid film production in the state.

The legislation is already facing a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union that leaves the question of whether or not it will ever actually go into effect up in the air. But in Georgia, where lucrative tax incentives have helped to foster a robust television and film industry that employed some 92,000 workers and generated an estimated $9.5 billion in total economic impact in 2018 alone, even the threat of an imminent boycott could spell disaster for workers.

The storm clouds are gathering, and a Hollywood boycott of Georgia’s TV and film industry seems likely to be imminent. As of May 31st, Disney, Netflix, AMC, CBS, Showtime, NBCUniversal, Sony, and WarnerMedia had all publicly expressed concerns over HB 481, which would grant a fetus full personhood if it were to go into effect in January of 2020 as scheduled. In a Wednesday interview with Reuters, Disney Chief Executive Office Bob Iger said of the law: “I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard.”

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