POLITICS
05/14/2019 18:40 EDT

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Delays Hollywood Film Trip Amid Backlash To Anti-Abortion Bill

Some filmmakers have said they won’t work in the state after the governor signed a “heartbeat bill.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is postponing an upcoming trip to Los Angeles, as leaders in the film industry and beyond are protesting an anti-abortion bill he recently signed.

Kemp had been planning to go to Hollywood next week for an annual event called “Georgia Night in LA,” originally set for May 22, to promote Georgia’s film industry, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. But now that trip has been moved to later this year.

A spokesperson from Kemp’s office told HuffPost the governor would be going to Los Angeles in the fall, and meanwhile will be touring production studios in Georgia “to meet with employees and reaffirm his commitment to the film industry in our state.”

Kemp’s office did not clarify why the trip was delayed, or whether it was related to the recent backlash to the “heartbeat bill.”

Earlier this month, Kemp signed a bill banning abortion as soon as a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, usually around six weeks into a pregnancy ― when many women don’t even know they’re pregnant yet. The legislation, which faceslegal challenges, would make Georgia one of the most restrictive states in the country for women seeking an abortion.

In response, several Hollywood filmmakers have said they wouldn’t work in Georgia ― including David Simon, creator of HBO’s “The Wire,” and producer Christine Vachon, behind critically acclaimed films like “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Carol,” amongseveralothers.

Georgia’s generous film and television tax incentives have attracted many big Hollywood productions, including Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise.  

Some film workers have pushed back on calls to boycott Georgia’s film industry, saying such actions would only serve to hurt workers struggling to get by in film and TV there.

In that vein, filmmakers JJ Abrams and Jordan Peele said that while they were against Georgia’s new anti-abortion law, theywould not be halting production in the state for an upcoming HBO show, and instead will donate money from the production to former gubernatorial candidateStacey Abrams’ group Fair Fight Georgia, as well as theACLU of Georgia, which is challenging the legislation in court.