Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping are the latest industry figures to address their film and TV production in Georgia in the wake of the state’s new “fetal heartbeat” law. The Chernin Entertainment brass said today that they will continue to film their Fear Street movies and the upcoming Starz drama P-Valley in Atlanta but will make a “a significant donation” to the ACLU’s battle against the legislation.
Both projects are from female creators.
“We will stay in Georgia, stand shoulder to shoulder with the women of that state and the states under attack, and fight to win,” Chernin and Topping said in a statement. “In doing so will be making a significant donation to ACLU because whatever upside we have needs to be shared with the women everywhere who have the right as human beings to make medical decisions as sovereign individuals.”
Hollywood has rallied around the effort to fight Georgia newly enacted anti-abortion law, which is among the toughest in the country. J.J. Abrams and Jordan issued a similar statement last week, and some production companies including Christine Vachon’s Killer Films and David Simon’s Blown Deadline have vowed not to film in the state.
Peter and Megan Chernin are hosting an event with Louise Melline, the ACLU’s Deputy Legal Director and Director of Center for Liberty, at their home on Thursday.
Amid the fallout over the law, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — who beat Stacey Abrams to keep the statehouse in November — has postponed an upcoming trip to Los Angeles where he was to meet with film and TV executives. Kemp had planned to tout Georgia’s lucrative tax credits, which are designed to lure film to the Peach State. More than three dozens projects are shooting there now.
Here is Chernin and Topping’s statement in full:
When the “fetal heartbeat bill” was signed into law we were deep into production on two projects, our film trilogy Fear Street and the P-Valley TV series, so we were conflicted about contributing to the health of an economy and a state that had declared war on the rights and freedom of its women. On one hand, if we chose the boycott route, thousands of jobs would be lost ultimately damaging workers who rely on production for livelihood, including many women. We also know that the only way to fight the massive, now national incursion on women’s rights is through a legal battle, a battle that needs funding and on the ground support via organizations like the ACLU who are powering up to overturn the law. So our choice became pretty clear we will stay in Georgia, stand shoulder to shoulder with the women of that state and the states under attack, and fight to win. In doing so, we will be making a significant donation to the ACLU because whatever upside we have needs to be shared with the women everywhere who have the right as human beings to make medical decisions as sovereign individuals.