NOLA Filmmakers Won’t Do Business in Georgia; Louisiana May Be Next

TV and film production companies are lashing out against Georgia’s new anti-abortion law.

Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The law was signed by Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, and goes into effect January 1, 2020, if it is not stopped by the courts before then.

An independent film production company run by New Orleans filmmakers Mark and Jay Duplass, along with two others, have announced they will not do business in Georgia now that the governor has signed a so-called “heartbeat bill” into law.

Mark Duplass tweeted earlier this week, saying, “Don’t give your business to Georgia. Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?”

Christine Vachon, of Killer Films posted a similar tweet, saying  “Killer Films will no longer consider Georga as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned.”

And David Simon, writer on “The Wire” tweeted “I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact. Other filmmakers will see this.”

While the statements are aimed at Georgia, they send a clear message to Lousiana legislators. The Louisiana House of Representatives is set to debate a similar abortion ban on Wednesday (May 15).

The Louisiana film industry has been enjoying a steady increase after the state’s motion picture tax credit program was overhauled in 2017. For New Orleans, home of “Hollywood South,” the loss of TV and film production could have major implications. According to a report by The Advocate, the film industry has an economic impact of more than $900 million in household earnings across the state, and $1.22 billion in new business sales (in 2016).

That’s a lot to lose should Louisiana choose to pass the abortion ban.

Sixteen other states have passed or are moving to pass similar “heartbeat bills.” So far, abortion bans have become law in for states: Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, and Georgia. In addition to Louisiana, similar proposals are being considered in Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.

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