Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) mocked entertainment figures’ vows to boycott his state because of its new “heartbeat” abortion law, calling opponents ― including Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Sean Penn ― “C-list celebrities.”
“I understand that some folks don’t like this new law. I’m fine with that,” Kemp said at the Georgia Republican Convention on Saturday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re elected to do what’s right ― and standing up for precious life is always the right thing to do.”
The governor reportedly went on to declare 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.”
The restrictive abortion law signed by Kemp on May 7 outlaws abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. This can be as early as six weeks of pregnancy ― when many women don’t realize they’re pregnant.
The list of people in the entertainment industry who have said they will no longer do business with Georgia has swelled in recent weeks to include dozens of Hollywood actors, writers, producers, directors and comedians.
A letter to Kemp and state House Speaker David Ralston in March warned of a potential boycott if the law passed. The letter included the names of Judd Apatow, Alec Baldwin, Mark Hamill, Sarah Paulson, Mark Ruffalo, Emmy Rossum, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts and Olivia Wilde, in addition to Portman and Penn.
Actor Jason Batemen, who is currently filming two shows ― Netflix’s “Ozark” and HBO’s “The Outsider” ― in the state, also said he will no longer work in Georgia if the abortion ban survives court challenges. Academy Award-winning producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have made a similar vow, saying they will boycott the state as a production center if the law goes into effect in January.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights have both said they will fight the law in court.
Kemp postponed the annual “Georgia Night in LA” event promoting the state’s film industry that had been planned for Wednesday in Los Angeles. A spokesperson for Kemp’s office, reached by HuffPost, gave no reason for the postponement, saying it will be rescheduled in the fall.