TV show producers cancel plans to film in Georgia due to abortion law

Executive producers for a new television show have decided not to scout for filming locations in Georgia because of the signing of the controversial “heartbeat bill.”

Creators of “The Power,” an Amazon show by Sister Pictures, had planned to look for places to shoot in Georgia, according to a statement from executive producers Jane Featherstone and Naomi De Pear.

But those plans were canceled because of the state’s new abortion law, Featherstone and De Pear said in the statement.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law on May 7. The measure, set to go into effect January 1, would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

The decision to cancel plans to scout locations in Georgia is “a direct response to the signing,” the executive producers said.

“We feel we have to stand up for a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, and so while this is not a decision we have taken lightly, we feel strongly that it is the right one at this point in time.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has said it will challenge the new law in court.

“The Power” is based on an international best-selling novel by Naomi Alderman and is directed by Reed Morano, an Emmy winner for her direction of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” according to the Sister Pictures website. There has not yet been a commitment to shoot in any location in the US, the producers’ statement said.

Georgia has become a popular spot for film and television production since passing a 30% tax credit in 2008 for productions shot in the state.

With the production of wildly popular projects like “The Walking Dead,” “Stranger Things” and “Black Panther,” the governor’s office announced that an estimated $2.7 billion has been brought into Georgia from the direct spending of 455 productions.

But since the signing of the bill, many in Hollywood have criticized the state and called for — or engaged in — a production boycott.

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer are filming the movie “Hillbilly Elegy” in Georgia this summer but have announced they will boycott the state if the law goes into effect next year.

Filmmakers J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele released a joint statement Friday 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.

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 said they will not film in Georgia until the legislation is reversed.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the gender of Reed Morano.