Hollywood Stars are Once Again Threatening to Boycott Georgia

Georgia is kind of like the Hollywood of the South, much the same way Vancouver is Hollywood North. If you haven’t looked into it, a shockingly high number of TV shows and movies film or are otherwise produced in Georgia. This is because Georgia offers huge tax breaks to the entertainment industry.

Georgia’s state government has also recently taken to passing bills that are causing Hollywood productions to reconsider filming there.

In 2018, a bill allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT couples was considered and it lead to a number of boycott threats from studios, actors and producers. Disney had similarly threatened to pull production out of the state in 2016 over a similar bill.

In 2021, however, it’s a bill aimed at making voting more difficult that has lead to renewed threats to pull production out of the state.

Georgia’s Governor actually signed the bill into law, and it has some indefensibly stupid provisions in it that are just nakedly meant to make voting more difficult. The most blatant provision makes it illegal to bring food or water to someone waiting in line to vote. There’s absolutely no basis for that other than “we would like to make it more difficult to vote.”

There have also been calls for consumers to boycott Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola and Delta, as if anyone flies on Delta by choice in the first place.

Not everyone supports a boycott, though. Former Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams says the boycott will only hurt the people already being disenfranchised by the law.

“[Leaving] us behind won’t save us,” Abrams wrote. “So I ask you to bring your business to Georgia and, if you’re already here, stay and fight. Stay and vote.”

On the balance, Abrams is probably right. Dealing with the onerous new voting restrictions, voting out the people who put them in place and ending them is likely the best strategy. This bill was all about giving cover to Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign and his big lie that he didn’t actually lose in 2020 so he’s not toxic and unelectable even though he lost to Joe Biden by stunning margins when you have to imagine even a halfway competent Republican could have won that election. So even if these boycotts resulted in a huge economic crash the legislature would be unlikely to take action.

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