Former Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams on Tuesday reiterated her calls against a Hollywood boycott of Georgia over its new abortion restrictions, urging leaders to “stay and fight” long-term systemic issues like voter disenfranchisement, which has enabled the ascent of anti-abortion lawmakers.
“My intention is to stay and fight, to build the political power to not only fight back against these bans and fight back against forced pregnancy, but to build the political capacity to not have the fight again for 40 more years,” last year’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate said on MSNBC.
Abrams confirmed that she is scheduled to meet with film industry executives in Los Angeles on June 11, along with Ilyse Hogue, the president of abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America. The meeting was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday.
“I want to protect jobs in Georgia. I want to protect women in Georgia. And having built relationships not only with the film industry, but other industries that are here in Georgia, I was asked to come and have a conversation about what the bill does, what the bill means, and how we can best support women in the film industry, and I’m here to provide information,” Abrams said of the meeting.
The former gubernatorial nominee and founder of voting rights organization Fair Fight Action has become a major voice against boycotting the state, which has a generous film and television tax credit program that has attracted major Hollywood projects and generated large economic benefits.
In fiscal year 2018, 455 movie and television productions were filmed in Georgia, generating $2.7 billion in direct spending in the state, the governor’s office said last year.
Analysts from consulting firm McKinsey wrote last month that Georgia’s film industry “generated $9.5 billion in total economic impact and created more than 92,100 jobs” in 2018.
Entertainment industry leaders have been divided over how to take action over the abortion law. Many have taken a wait-and-see approach, as the law will not go into effect until at least 2020 and could face a lengthy court battle, thwarting its implementation.
Last week, the heads of many major studios and companies ― including Netflix, Disney and WarnerMedia, the parent company of HBO and Warner Bros. ― said they would reconsider doing business in Georgia if the law moves forward.
Some Hollywood figures have taken Abrams’ approach, choosing to keep their productions in the state but donate to organizations working to fight the abortion legislation, such as the American Civil Liberties Union.
Producer Peter Chernin launched a $15 million campaign to support the ACLU’s legal challenges to the recent wave of abortion restrictions in a number of states.
Abrams’ meeting in Hollywood comes after Gov. Brian Kemp (R) recently delayed a previously planned trip amid the growing backlash over the abortion law.