Georgia Gov. Kemp Attempts to Mollify Hollywood After Signing Anti-Abortion Law

After scuttling a planned May 22 visit to Hollywood studios in Los Angeles, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp the next day visited local production facilities to thank them for doing business in the Peach state.

Thanks to lucrative tax incentives, film and TV productions employ more than 5,000 people in Georgia, reportedly generating a $9.5 billion fiscal economic impact in 2017, including $2.7 billion in direct spending.

The state trailed only Canada as primary production home for the 100 top-grossing domestic films in 2017. It was home to more than 455 productions in 2018, according to the governor’s office.

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The PR tour was in response to growing backlash following Kemp’s May 7 signature of an anti-abortion “heartbeat bill” that prohibits a woman from terminating a pregnancy after six weeks — a time period before many women even know they’re pregnant.

Georgia currently bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill, which goes into effect in 2020, would also allow authorities to investigate women who miscarry.

While initial reaction in Hollywood was limited compared to a previous attempt by Georgia lawmakers to ban same-sex marriage, producers, directors and actors are beginning to speak up.

Actress/activist Alyssa Milano got the ball rolling on social media, delivering a letter to Kemp signed by 50 celebrities who vowed to boycott the state if the bill was signed into law.

Actor Jason Bateman said he would no longer work in the state, which is the production location (Lake Lanier) to his Netflix original series, “Ozark,” among others.

Producers of Amazon Prime Video original series “The Power” reportedly have stopped scouting the state for locations in response to the bill.

“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,” Jane Featherstone and Naomi De Pear, said in a statement.

Kristen Wiig and her creative team behind Bridesmaids confirmed to CNN that production of her new comedy, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, had pulled out of Georgia in response to the bill.

CNN reported that Christine Vachon, CEO of Killer Films; David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “The Deuce”; and Mark Duplass of Duplass Brothers Productions have all said they will not film in Georgia.

Separately, directors J.J. Abrams and Jordon Peele issued a statement in support of “women in Georgia,” adding that they would donate episodic fees of their new series, “Lovecraft Country,” to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia, an organization seeking to reform state elections.

Kris Bagwell, who runs EUE Screen Gems in Atlanta, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he recently lost a Netflix movie that would have brought about 300 jobs.

“The passage of this law threatens to destroy a significant portion of 11 years of goodwill between Georgia and the national film and television production industry,” Bagwell said. “Isn’t the first rule of job creation ‘Don’t shoot the jobs you already created?’”

Kemp, in response, contends he’s keeping a campaign promise to stop abortions.

“We value and protect innocent life in Georgia — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk,” the governor told a recent GOP convention in Savannah.

Amazon Prime Video Greenlights ‘Lorena’ Docuseries from Jordan Peele’s Company

Amazon Prime Video has greenlit Lorena, a Prime Original series executive produced by Oscar winner Jordan Peele (Get Out).

The series is produced by Peele’s Monkeypaw and Sonar Entertainment and directed by Joshua Rofe. The four-part documentary series reveals the hidden truths in the notorious case of John Wayne and Lorena Bobbitt and challenges the long-held narrative that surrounded the event, providing a fresh perspective on the story of Lorena and how one event laid the groundwork for the modern 24-hour news cycle.

“When we hear the name Bobbitt we think of one of the most sensational incidents to ever be catapulted into a full-blown media spectacle,” said Peele in a statement. “With this project, Lorena has a platform to tell her truth as well as engage in a critical conversation about gender dynamics, abuse and her demand for justice. This is Lorena’s story and we’re honored to help her tell it.”

“Jordan has proven himself as a captivating voice of social critique and we are excited to work with him on this project,” said Heather Schuster, head of unscripted, Amazon Originals, in a statement. “Lorena reframes Lorena Bobbitt’s story around issues of sexism and domestic abuse and offers Prime members an exclusive new view into how America got her story wrong and maybe continues to get it wrong,”

“Our hope for this series is to give viewers pause when the next scandal of the moment is presented to us as macabre entertainment. Often, there’s profound pain and trauma just beneath the surface of stories like Lorena’s,” said Rofe in a statement.

Prime members will be able to stream the series exclusively via the Amazon Prime Video app for TVs, connected devices including Fire TV, mobile devices and online. Members can also download the series to mobile devices for offline viewing at no additional cost to their membership. The series will be a global release and available on PrimeVideo.com for Prime Video members in more than 200 countries and territories.