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Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams vow to donate profits from HBO show to fight Georgia abortion law

GOP-led states pushing anti-abortion bills

After several filmmakers vowed to boycott Georgia due to the state's controversial abortion law, two famous directors have announced an alternative measure. Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams will donate the profits from their HBO show "Lovecraft Country," to groups fighting against the abortion measure.

The filmmakers' decision reflects former state representative and Democratic rising star Stacey Abrams' wish that the entertainment industry not boycott Georgia over political disagreements with the state. 

In November 2018, Stacey Abrams narrowly lost the race for Georgia governor to Brian Kemp and urged Hollywood filmmakers not to pull their productions out of the state just to boycott the new governor over allegations of voter suppression. Instead, she asked them to join her "Fair Fight" campaign.

"I appreciate the calls to action, but I ask all of our entertainment industry friends to support #FairFightGA - but please do not #boycottgeorgia," Abrams tweeted after the election. "The hard-working Georgians who serve on crews & make a living here are not to blame. I promise: We will fight - and we will win."

The state of Georgia gives filmmakers a 30% tax credit to shoot their TV shows and movies there. While the state has become popular for filmmaking, many people in the industry were outraged by Kemp's win, and more recently, by the "fetal heartbeat bill," which he signed into law Tuesday. The law conflicts with Roe v. Wade by outlawing most abortions after about six weeks; it's expected to face a court challenge.

While removing film productions from Georgia may seem like a way to make a strong, clear political statement, Ms. Abrams wants filmmakers to realize the impact the boycott would have on all the people who rely on the state's film industry for work.

Peele retweeted her 2018 message last week. He also shared several news articles about his and J.J. Abrams' decision. In a statement obtained by Deadline, the two directors said their show will start shooting in a few weeks and "will do so standing shoulder to shoulder with the women of Georgia."

"Governor Kemp's 'Fetal Heartbeat' Abortion Law is an unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms," the joint statement read. "Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women." 

"We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia, and will donate 100% of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organizations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia.  We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations," the statement continued.

 Ms. Abrams founded Fair Fight, which aims to advocate for free and fair elections in Georgia.

In addition to Peele and J.J. Abrams, actress Alyssa Milano has also joined Stacey Abrams' fight. "I'm donating $10,000.00 to the grassroots orgs on the ground fighting against hurtful policies in Georgia and I challenge all corporations who work in Georgia to match my donation. LET'S DO THIS," Milano tweeted on Tuesday.

Christine Vachon, who was one of the first filmmakers to pull her company out of Georgia after the abortion bill was signed, tweeted last week that she would also be donating money to advocacy groups in the state.

However, David Simon, the writer and producer behind "Homicide," "The Wire," and other hits, seemed to double down on Twitter about his decision to pull his productions out of the state. "I am an employer and ethically I cannot expose my female colleagues to work in a jurisdiction that impairs their civil liberties or health care. Not remotely possible," he wrote in one tweet.

CBS News has reached out to Peele's Monkey Paw Productions and J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot productions for further comment and is awaiting response.

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