Heartbeat bill fallout: Three Hollywood production companies pledge to not film in GA

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Friday, May 10, 2019

Source: MGN

ATLANTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Three production companies are already pledging to not film in Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the controversial "heartbeat bill" earlier this week.

According to the Hollywood Reporter and CBS News, companies Blown Deadline Productions, Killer Films, and Duplass Brothers Productions will not use Georgia to film.

David Simon, the owner of Blown Deadline, tweeted that he was reconsidering Georgia after the bill's signing.

Blown Deadline is the production company behind such shows as HBO's The Deuce and The Wire.

Killer Films CEO Christine Vachon, whose production company produced Oscar winner Still Alice, is also avoiding the Peach State.

Mark Duplass of Duplass Brothers has also joined in.

Georgia's new law is one of the most restrictive anti-abortion regulations in the country. It seeks to outlaw abortions at around the 6-week mark, or when a fetal heartbeat is first heard by doctors.

In recent years, Georgia has become one of the go-to states for productions looking to film largely on the strength of tax incentives.

Hit shows like The Walking Dead and blockbuster franchises like Marvel have chosen the Peach State because of those incentives.

Brad Owens with the Augusta Film Office says we're in uncharted waters.

"We hope the film industry doesn't judge the entire state as far as economic viability based off of one law that may or may not even be implemented," Owens said.

Owens says it's a hard pill to swallow when politics get involved with business.

"Everybody has a right to free speech, so filmmakers who disagree with the politics on a state level have every right to not use our state to come to, but we would hope that somewhere there is a happy medium where we can continue to grow as a film industry because it's really taking off."

The hope is that the tax incentive will keep companies coming to Georgia. But if more production labels and actors jump on the bandwagon, it could be a big loss of money for the state, and a loss of over 200,000 jobs related to the film industry just in the state.

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