ENTERTAINMENT

Jason Bateman Says He Won't Work In Georgia If 'Heartbeat Bill' Survives Court

The "Ozark" actor joins a list of Hollywood figures speaking out against Georgia's new law that bans abortion after six weeks.

Actor Jason Bateman said Thursday that he will no longer work in Georgia if the state’s recently passed “heartbeat bill” that bans abortion after six weeks survives its legal challenges, adding to a list of Hollywood figures speaking out against the legislation.

“If the ‘heartbeat bill’ makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights,” Bateman told The Hollywood Reporter. The actor’s Netflix show “Ozark” and HBO show “The Outsider” are currently filming in Georgia.

Bateman joins many major figures in the entertainment industry who are speaking against Georgia’s abortion law that Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed last week. The law effectively bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and severely limits reproductive health care for millions of women in the state. Some producers have held off speaking against the issue, likely because the law isn’t expected to go into effect until 2020 and faces a lengthy battle in court.

A strong response from the entertainment industry could potentially hurt the economy of the state, which serves as a popular filming location for Hollywood due to its generous 30% tax credit program for film and television projects. Georgia has been home to several major projects, including Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Marvel’s “Avengers” series.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams encouraged Hollywood producers on Thursday not to boycott Georgia in protest of the abortion law, asking them to instead support local organizations working to fight the legislation.

“While I support those who want to live their values by not bringing their resources here, I do not want to harm the citizens of Georgia who are doing this work,” Abrams, who may announce a presidential run, told MSNBC. Hollywood figures like J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele have followed the Democrat’s recommendation by continuing to film HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” in Georgia while donating their salaries to the American Civil Liberties Union and Fair Fight Georgia.

Some women who work in film and television in Georgia circulated a petition this week asking Hollywood not to stop doing business in the state. The petition said that they understand the reasoning behind a boycott, but “what we really need most is allies.”

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