When the United States was first formed, our Founding Fathers conceived of the country as a federation of states. Although there is a central government, each state also has its own government that determines the laws and policies of that particular state as long as they don’t interfere with federal law. It’s a fantastic system of government that gives great autonomy to its citizens who can elect local governments that reflect their different backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. Hollywood doesn’t quite get that.
Recent news suggests that liberal elites in Hollywood believe that their political ideology on abortion is philosophically correct and should be adopted by all the states. To that end, they want to force their will on others because they believe that money, fame and celebrity give them power to change legislation that they don’t like – even if it’s in a state they don’t live in. Georgia is a perfect example.
Recently, Georgia adopted a heartbeat bill, a law that would limit abortion to about the 6th week of pregnancy when the preborn baby’s heart starts to beat. It is a commonsense piece of abortion legislation. About 1 in 5 women abort before the 6th week of pregnancy, and several states around the country have adopted similar laws. Alabama went even further and outlawed abortion completely. Unfortunately for Georgia, the state has become home to several large Hollywood productions, and that has given some California and New York liberals the belief that they can bully the state into revoking the legislation, voted on by local elected representatives, through a state boycott.
The threat is not something to take lightly. Georgia’s economy generates $2 billion a year from the entertainment industry. Disney and Netflix are both threatening to leave. Losing those studios would have a significant impact on the local economy for sure, but Hollywood might overplay its hand.
While many productions are filmed in Georgia, including many of the Marvel films, the people who will be most deeply affected if studios decide to boycott the state are the set designers, carpenters, stunt doubles and working actors who thrive on the growing industry. Not the millionaire actors, producers and studio executives. It is possible that some or many of these behind-the-scenes folks agree with their Hollywood partners, but if the jobs dry, up that might change.
The problem is that while the big-name actors and producers can afford to move and film wherever they want, the same cannot be said for those behind the camera. Georgia’s cost of living is much cheaper when compared to congested, expensive and packed Los Angeles County. The wealthy actors and producers might be able to afford their little spot of heaven in Bel Air or Pacific Palisades, but if the behind-the-scenes folks are forced to relocate it will likely find living in LA a bit of a struggle.
The world of Hollywood might think that they are doing the people of Georgia a favor by boycotting and bullying the state into changing the abortion law, but their departure could leave 90,000 people without a job. It’s an exercise of the extreme privilege of the chosen few against thousands of working-class people.
There are some producers who say that they will continue working in the state but donate to the local ACLU to fight pro-life legislation. J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard are two of the producers who are leading the charge. While the ACLU might have more money to fight against the legislation, the people of Georgia still have the final say. If the people want pro-life legislators, the bill will stand.
At the end of the day, Hollywood needs to realize that they’re in an elite, liberal bubble, and that people will not always take kindly to their interfering in the elections and legislatures of other states. How would Hollywood feel if California’s government suddenly became conservative and enacted pro-life legislation due to interference from Alabama? They would hate it and call foul. Georgians should do the same.
The citizens of Georgia should not be held hostage by Hollywood because they exercised their constitutional right to elections, laws, legislators and governors. We are a federation of states, not the federated states of California/Hollywood. These producers and actors can do whatever they want in California and New York, where most live, but they’re in Georgia to make movies and television, not political statements.
Honestly, most Americans just care for Hollywood’s value as entertainers anyways, not political commentators and activists. Leave that to the citizens of Georgia.