Ga.’s Entertainment Industry Flourishing Despite Hollywood Threats

‘I understand the situation, but I am against boycotts at any level…’

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(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Despite Hollywood’s attempt to force the entertainment industry to leave Georgia after the state passed a pro-life heartbeat bill, several companies continue to invest money and bring business to Georgia.

Last week, Mark Damon and Adi Cohen, principal financiers of DCR Finance, announced their intent to invest more than $150 million in film productions in the state, according to the Atlanta Journal–Constitution.

The investment will fund post-production, an important part of entertainment infrastructure the state currently lacks, said Ethan Tussey, an associate professor of film and media studies at Georgia State University.

Damon and Cohen are aware of Hollywood celebrities’ boycott of the state, but refuse to mix politics and business.

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“It is a bad practice,” Cohen said. “I understand the situation, but I am against boycotts at any level. It usually achieves nothing.”

This September, more than 39 movies and TV shows will start filming in Georgia, according to Project Casting. Netflix’s Stranger Things and AMC’s The Walking Dead are both filming in the state this fall.

Georgia’s 30 percent tax break for production companies has made it one of the largest entertainment hubs in the country.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he believes the financial incentives are enough to persuade Hollywood to stay, despite liberal activists’ best efforts.

“I can’t govern because I’m worried about what someone in Hollywood thinks about me,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I ran the last two years on these issues, and I got elected with the largest number of votes in the history of the state of Georgia,” Kemp said, “and I’m doing what I told people I would do.”

Some key figures, like Ozark’s Jason Bateman and the producer of Stranger Things, have threatened to leave production entirely if Georgia’s heartbeat bill, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, goes into effect next year.

Cohen said that in doing so, these Hollywood elites are “preventing middle class people from having jobs.”

“The only thing I can do is try to persuade them that this is not the way to fight for their cause,” Cohen said.