GA abortion law impact on film industry in the Peach State

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:31 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia’s new abortion law has the potential to drive away some of the state’s booming film industry. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced recently he’s offering incentives to TV and film executives who pull their productions out of Georgia and other quote “...anti-abortion states that rule with hatred.”

With the film industry in Georgia being bigger than ever, its status as the “Hollywood of the South” could come into question... This, as California Governor Newsom said new incentives are coming to his state following the passing of the new strict abortion law in Georgia.

The Georgia governor’s office announced that TV and film productions generated $4.4 billion for the state in the past year. That’s a new industry record.

The reason Georgia has become a hub for film. The state pays the movie industry to shoot here with a tax credit of 30% discount.... something unheard of in most states. But even these incentives could soon not be enough to continue the progress.

“Companies in LA telling the state we will come back here to shoot a film if you give us the same incentive Georgia gave,” Bobby Sampson, owner of Trilogy Production Studios, said. “Georgia gave a sweet deal because the minimum was a 500,000 budget to get a sweet tax break.”

When the “heartbeat” law first passed in 2019, many in Hollywood called for the film industry to boycott Georgia. The law was eventually struck down by a court.

Now that the law is green-lighted, many questions remain.

“When the government comes in to change a woman’s right or individual’s right and you have old men who pretty much stand behind the rule to change a woman’s choice of life, my personal opinion is for women to have their own choice,” Sampson explained. “I don’t care what business I’m running, if I’m running a business, and I have 90% of employees women and they feel that way, I have to go with them. The 90 percentile will dictate that if I want to have a happy environment.”

In a recent tweet, California Governor Newsom said, “You can protect your workers, or you can continue to support anti-abortion states that rule with hatred.”

We’ll keep you updated on this developing story.

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