WGA: Georgia Abortion Bill Threatens Production Business in State

Writers for TV, movies and digital platforms said that if a new anti-abortion bill makes it into law in Georgia, they may be reluctant to work there.

According to the Georgia Office of Economic Development, dozens of TV shows and films are currently shooting in the state, including American Ninja Warrior for NBCU, Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta (WeTV), and pilots for SyFy, Fox and NBC.

The Writers Guild of America East and West are united in their opposition to: "HB 481 is a draconian anti-choice measure that would in essence constitute a state-wide ban on abortion since a fetal heartbeat is usually detectable approximately six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women are aware they are pregnant or have had reasonable time to consider their options," said the Guilds.

The guilds signaled that the bill could do a number on the state's bustling media production business.

"This law would make Georgia an inhospitable place for those in the film and television industry to work, including our members," it said. "If the Georgia Legislature and Governor Kemp make HB 481 law, it is entirely possible that many of those in our industry will either want to leave the state or decide not to bring productions there....The cost would be most deeply felt by the residents of Georgia – including those who directly work in the film and television industry, and those who benefit from the many millions of dollars it pours into the local economy."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.