Spike Lee says it’s time for Hollywood productions to do the right thing and abandon Georgia over the state’s new abortion law.
“You’ve got to be on the right side of history, and the state of Georgia and those other states, they’re wrong,” Lee told The Associated Press Thursday night at the AFI Lifetime Achievement tribute to Denzel Washington.
“Shut it down,” the BlacKkKlansman filmmaker added.
The Oscar winner said he realized boycotting Georgia and other states that restrict abortion could cause economic hardship for working class residents, and compared the situation to the plight of black bus drivers affected by the boycott in Montgomery, Ala., during the civil rights movement.
“I know it’s going to affect people’s livelihood. But that’s how things change,” Lee stated.
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Georgia has become a top filming location because of its generous tax incentives and lower costs than California and New York. Among some recent projects that have shot in the Southern state are Black Panther and AMC’s The Walking Dead.
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As Urban Hollywood 411 previously reported, Divorce Court also shoots in Georgia, having abandoned Southern California last year after 19 seasons because of economics.
According to the Motion Picture Assn. of America, 92,000 industry jobs have been created in Georgia since 2010.
Hollywood initially took a wait-and-see approach when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the “heartbeat law” last month, which would ban abortions once doctors detect a heartbeat in a fetus. The law is scheduled to take effect next year.
Netflix, which shoots Stranger Things in Atlanta, has said the company is reconsidering its “entire investment” in Georgia because of the bill.
WarnerMedia, parent company of Warner Bros., HBO, TNT, TBS and CNN, also said it may stop making “new productions” in the state if the bill is implemented.