We’ve seen the feud between Hollywood and Georgia before. When the state passed a restrictive abortion law in 2019, the film industry rose tensions to the point of near boycott. With the new election rules signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, we see La La Land and the state of Georgia on a collision course yet again.
Once in LA, a known Hollywood filmmaker and producer told me over coffee, “It’s the wild-wild-west. You can kill someone and end up running a studio.” I took the exaggeration with a grain of salt. And I knew he was just trying to get me to see a bigger picture. Hollywood is a strange town with a set of rules as volatile as a chimp in a chemistry lab. The implicit levels of film production extend way beyond So-Cal.
Hollywood and Georgia’s symbiotic relationship stems from the state’s low tax incentives for movies and TV shows shot there (it’s also sunny and warm).
When Gov. Kemp signed the new set of election rules, Hollywood talents voiced their concerns of voter suppression the bill proposes. James Mangold, director of Oscar-winning Ford vs. Ferrari, tweeted: “I will not direct a film in Georgia.”
Many other industry folks, however, oppose the notion. Founder of The Black List, Franklin Leonard, responded on Twitter, “While I understand the instinct, I hope you’ll reconsider and seek guidance on the best way forward from those who have been doing the work on the ground there – Black Women in particular.”
A boycott between Hollywood and Georgia would mean the loss of numerous production jobs in the state.