Oscar winner Spike Lee called on Hollywood production companies based in Georgia to “shut it down” in response to the state’s passing of a heartbeat bill.
Lee made the comments at the arrival line for Denzel Washington’s AFI Lifetime Achievement according to the Associated Press.
Lee specifically stated, “They got to shut it down. I’m not sorry. But I know it’s going to affect people’s livelihood. But that’s how things change.”
He then compared his call for Hollywood Studios to shut down their productions in Georgia to the Montgomery bus boycott.
“There were black bus drivers in Montgomery. They were affected by the boycott. But so be it. You’ve got to be on the right side of history. The state of Georgia and those others states, they are wrong.”
These comments come on the heels of a number of threats by most of the major film studios that they will exit the state if the law is enacted.
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law. It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
Following Netflix’s statement almost all of the major studios would make similar comments. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger noted, “It would be very difficult to produce in Georgia” if the law enacted. Iger added, “If it becomes law I don’t see how it’s practical to continue to shoot there.”
Other studios such as AMC, WarnerMedia, and NBC Universal all made similar comments.
The initial call to boycott the state of Georgia came from former Charmed actress Alyssa Milano. She campaigned against the heartbeat bill and pushed an open letter condemning the bill as “evil.” That open letter would be signed by a number of Avengers: Endgame actors including Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, and Don Cheadle. X-Men: Dark Phoenix actresses Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain would also intimate they signed their names to the letter.
After the bill was passed and signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Milano called for a sex strike.
While most of the major studios have indicated they are on a wait and see mission depending on what happens with the bill in the legal system, The Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano announced her upcoming Amazon Studios project titled The Power would not film in Georgia. Kristen Wiig announced that her and Annie Mumolo’s Lionsgate comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar would also not film in Georgia.
J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele announced their Lovecraft County drama for HBO would continue to film in Georgia, but they would donate their producer fees to the ACLU and Fair Fight Georgia in order to oppose the bill.
The AP reports that “Georgia’s economy currently gets a $9.5 billion annual boost from the industry.” However, Georgia provides a 30 percent tax credit for film and TV productions if they spend at least $500,000 in the state.
What do you make of Spike Lee’s comments? Do you think Hollywood should shut it down in Georgia?