Ron Howard and Brian Grazer say they will boycott Georgia if the 'heartbeat bill' goes into effect
Posted May 19, 2019 11:08 p.m. EDT
CNN — Filmmaker Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer have joined the list of Hollywood stars who say they will boycott Georgia after the state's governor signed the controversial "heartbeat bill" into law.
Howard and Grazer, who run Imagine Entertainment, told The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive statement that although they are continuing with their plans to film the movie "Hillbilly Elegy" in Georgia next month, they will boycott the state as a production center if the law goes into effect in January.
"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," the statement read.
CNN has reached out to representatives for Imagine Entertainment and Howard for comment, but has not yet heard back.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the "heartbeat bill" into law on May 7. The bill would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The ACLU has said it will challenge the new law in court. The measure is set to go into effect January 1.
Georgia has been a filming location for multiple television shows and blockbuster films, including one of Marvel's biggest hits, "Black Panther."
Such films and the production of wildly popular TV series including "The Walking Dead" and "Stranger Things" have resulted in an estimated $2.7 billion pouring into the Southern state from direct spending via 455 productions, the governor's office announced last year.
The state has actively courted Hollywood, passing a 30% tax credit in 2008 for productions shot in Georgia.
But Hollywood has been outspoken against Georgia's newly signed law.
Christine Vachon, chief executive officer of Killer Films; Mark Duplass of Duplass Brothers Productions; and David Simon, who heads Blown Deadline Productions and created "The Wire" and "The Deuce" all have voiced their opposition.
Filmmakers J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele released a joint statement stating they'd stand "shoulder to shoulder with the women of Georgia" as their new show "Lovecraft Country" begins shooting in the state. They promised to donate 100% of their episodic fees to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia, an election reform organization.
In March, actress Alyssa Milano penned an open letter to Kemp and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston against the abortion legislation.
Dozens of other celebrities including Amy Schumer, Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, Don Cheadle, Rosie O'Donnell, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman and Mia Farrow signed the letter in support.
Milano also called for a sex strike in response to Georgia's and other state's anti-abortion laws, something that did not go over well with some women and activists. Critics said the strike assumes that sex is enjoyed only by men and that women's bodies are commodities that can be denied to men as punishment. Some people also pointed out that the sex strike ignored LGBTQ people and didn't consider the possibility of sexual violence.