Filmmaker Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer to boycott Georgia if 'heartbeat bill' goes into effect
Adding to the list of Hollywood stars, filmmaker Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, have said that they will boycott the state of Georgia after Governor Brian Kemp signed the controversial "heartbeat bill" into law last week.
The Hollywood duo who run Imagine Entertainment, while talking to The Hollywood Reporter, said that although they are proceeding with their plans to film the movie 'Hillbilly Elegy' in Georgia next month, they will boycott the state as their production center for the film if the abortion ban law goes into effect in January 2020.
"We see Governor Kemp's bill as a direct attack on women's rights, and we will be making a donation to the (American Civil Liberties Union) to support their battle against this oppressive legislation," Howard and Grazer, in a statement, said. Georgia has been a filming location for various television shows and movies, including one of Marvel's biggest hits 'Black Panther', resulting in billions pouring in the Southern state from direct spending.
Gov. Kemp signed the "heartbeat bill" into law on May 7. The legislation bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, in effect imposing a ban on termination of pregnancy as early as six weeks. The bill is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Filmmakers JJ Abrams and Jordan Peele also released a joint statement last week, saying they stand "shoulder to shoulder with the women of Georgia." Gov. Kemp, however, has mocked Hollywood for boycotting his state, calling the opponents of the bill "C-list celebrities" even as opponents included Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Sean Penn.
While speaking at the Georgia Republican Convention on Saturday, Kemp said: "I understand that some folks don't like this new law. I’m fine with that. We’re elected to do what's right ― and standing up for precious life is always the right thing to do," according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The governor, during the convention, called the Republican Party "the party of freedom and opportunity", and added: "We value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk."
Chief executive officer of Killer Films Christine Vachon, Duplass Brothers Productions' Mark Duplass, and Blown Deadline Productions' head David Simon who created 'The Wire' and 'The Deuce' have all strongly spoken against the "heartbeat" bill. They have also pledged to donate 100% of their episodic fees to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia, an election reform organization, which is set to fight the bill.