Over the last 10 years or so, Georgia has become one of the go-to spots for Hollywood film and TV productions looking to work on a budget, lured in by the state’s traditional peach cobbler, Southern hospitality, and millions in down-home, super-folksy entertainment industry tax incentives. It’s also a place that’s resolutely red in terms of its politics, though, with its governor, both senators, and a majority of its House reps all avowed Republicans. Those two factors occasionally come into conflict—as when Hollywood protested an anti-LGBTQ+ “religious freedom bill” that made its way through the legislature of its home away from home back in 2016, threatening to boycott the state unless then-governor Nathan Deal vetoed it. (He did.)
Now that divide has come into even sharper relief, with a number of celebrities with Georgia-adjacent projects banding together to lodge their protest against the state’s new abortion bill, H.B. 481, which is currently worming its way through lawmakers. A so-called “heartbeat bill,” H.B. 481 would, if signed into law, outlaw any abortions more than six weeks after conception—which, in addition to its wider regressive consequences, is before many women even know that they’re pregnant.
And so stars—led by actress Alyssa Milano, whose Insatiable is currently filming its second season in the state—have now started signing their names to a public letter demanding that governor Brian Kemp veto the bill if it comes across his desk. (Kemp has previously pledged to sign it into law.) Other signatories on the letter—which notes that “government is never bigger than when it’s inside a woman’s body, or in her doctor’s office”—include recognizable names like Gabrielle Union, Alec Baldwin, Patton Oswalt, Ben Stiller, Sarah Silverman, and roughly 50 more. Meanwhile, Milano also offered up a more personal reflection on the issue in an editorial to Deadline, highlighting the ways that the prospective law would not only endanger the $2 billion-plus the industry spends in the state every year, but also the lives and well-beings of the women who travel to the state to film and work there.
Of course, this being, well, abortion, there’s always a dissenting opinion on-hand: In this case, we’ve got Ashley Bratcher, Georgia native and star of the Christian pro-life drama Unplanned, bemoaning the 61 million teeny-tiny members of her generation who were cut down in their primes, i.e., two months after conception, while their brains were still in the process of forming. Bratcher can presumably relate, having apparently just recently learned that her “life was spared on an abortion table” lo these many years ago, lashing out at Milano for “the privilege of being born in 1972,” i.e., before Roe v. Wade. She then lambasts Milano for focusing on the financial impact of Hollywood’s contributions to Georgia’s state economy, before then inviting her to go see her movie, which, well, you’ve got to respect the hustle, we guess. (Note: Do not respect this particular hustle.)
H.B. 481 passed the Georgia House earlier this month; it’s currently still waiting on a vote in the state senate.