Stacey Abrams, a growing voice in the Democratic Party who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Georgia last year, said she met with members of the film industry on Tuesday to argue against a boycott of the state over its controversial abortion law.
Abrams, whose unsuccessful gubernatorial bid was backed by many celebrities, warned in March that the state’s abortion bill would be “bad for business.” The so-called “heartbeat” measure, which takes effect January 1 of next year, would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, a point at which many women are unaware they are pregnant.
Seth Bringman, a spokesman for Abrams, said in a statement on Wednesday that Abrams was filling a “leadership void” in reaching out to the film industry and offering understanding for those who had called for a boycott.
“Leader Abrams went to Hollywood to meet with industry leaders, show respect for the calls for a boycott and recognize the historical power of economic boycotts, but also to encourage a more strategic path for the film industry to help Georgia women: by using the energy and resources of the industry to stay in Georgia and fight to create lasting political change,” Bringman said.
Netflix, Disney, and WarnerMedia – the parent company of CNN, which is headquartered in Atlanta – have been among the major film and television companies to say if the new law takes effect, they may not continue production in Georgia.
“We had productive conversations with execs, show runners, actors & more. If companies #StayAndFight, we can save jobs, build power and most importantly, protect women. While the call to leave resonates for some, we must leverage the time before a final determination to lead,” Abrams said in a tweet Tuesday.
She added, “Business relies on predictability - too many companies will face growing uncertainty in our healthcare environment. This forced pregnancy bill targets women but every Georgian is at risk if we lose doctors, jobs and billions. #StayAndFight”
CNN affiliate WSB-TV said Abrams met with executives and others in the industry in Los Angeles.
Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, who Abrams ran against last year, signed the abortion bill into law in May and defended his opposition to abortion as he predicted coming court challenges.
In recent years, following the passage of a tax incentive, Georgia has become a major hub for the entertainment industry, and the state’s controversial abortion measure sparked condemnation from Hollywood.
Kemp delayed a planned visit to Los Angeles in May, shortly after signing the bill.