Kemp Ignoring Warning Signs: Gov.’s Extreme Agenda Proves Disastrous for Economy

August 3, 2022

Music Midtown Cancellation Causes $50M Loss for Georgia Economy As Film Industry Now At Risk From Abortion Ban

Gov. Brian Kemp still has not responded after Atlanta’s Music Midtown was canceled over safety concerns about his extreme gun agenda, but this latest cancellation is not the only potential blow to Georgia’s economy caused by Kemp. Just days before, a group of over 400 women producers and showrunners sent a letter to major production studios working in Georgia and other states whose Republican leaders have banned or severely restricted abortion, calling for protections for pregnant employees who seek abortions and reproductive care.

As Georgia’s economy loses Music Midtown, which drives $50 million to the state, the letter from women creative professionals is a warning sign that Kemp and Georgia Republicans’ extreme and dangerous agenda could even further damage the Peach State’s economy. After Kemp signed his extreme abortion ban in 2019, he said it was “fine” for businesses to leave Georgia and blatantly mocked industry leaders considering investing in our state. Now, after his restrictive abortion ban has taken effect, he’s remained silent on how it could impact the state economy — just as he’s refused to comment on how Georgia’s loose gun laws led to Music Midtown’s cancellation.

“As Gov. Kemp trumpets how the film industry brought $4.4 billion into Georgia, his extreme policies are risking it all — loosening gun safety laws, banning abortion, and censoring what kids can learn in school are alienating major industries from Georgia. Kemp is risking our state’s jobs and economy to secure support for his re-election campaign from far-right extremists who want to ban abortion with no exceptions, make it easier for criminals to carry concealed handguns, and stop Georgia kids from learning a full and accurate history of our country,” asserted Max Flugrath, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia.

Under Kemp as governor, Georgia sank in the rankings for top states to do business. The plunge comes as Kemp is running for re-election and pushing unpopular, extreme, and dangerous policies that:

Read more from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Issa Rae, Shonda Rhimes, 400+ others demand Hollywood studios protect workers’ abortion rights

  • More than 400 female Hollywood producers and showrunners have signed a letter outlining demands that major studios working in states that ban or severely restrict abortion like Georgia provide proper protections for female employees who become pregnant.
  • “We have grave concerns about the lack of specific production protocols in place to protect those at work for Netflix in anti-abortion states,” the letter said. “It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment. Many of us would not have the careers and families we have today if we had not been granted the freedom to choose what was best for ourselves.”
  • Georgia is currently the third most popular state in the nation for film and TV behind only New York and California, where there are minimal abortion restrictions.
  • The letter seeks specific plans, if any, for companies to subsidize travel for employees who need to get an abortion in a different state and how they might help women with pregnancy complications and ectopic pregnancies. They also want legal protection in states that might try to criminalize people who aid and abet others who seek an abortion. And they are asking studios to stop donating to anti-abortion politicians and political action committees.
  • Among the notable names who signed the letter include “Insecure” star and producer Issa Rae, “Bridgerton” and “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes and “Gilmore Girls” and “The Amazing Ms. Maisel” showrunner Amy Sherman Palladino. Others include Lake Bell, Natasha Lyonne, Sara Bareilles, Vanessa Bayer, Rachel Bloom, Whitney Cummings, Amber Ruffin, Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Chelsea Handler and Mindy Kaling.
  • Several of the women who signed the letter have produced shows in Georgia including Mara Brock Alil (“The Game,” “Being Mary Jane”), Westminster Schools alum Sallie Patrick (”Dynasty”), Ava DuVernay (”Naomi,” “DMZ”), Lena Waithe (”Twenties”), Julie Plec (”Vampire Diaries,””Legacies,” “The Originals”) and Angela Kang (”The Walking Dead”).


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