Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain say they won't work in states with abortion bans
Actresses Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain are joining a growing list of artists and companies who say they won't work in states that implement abortion bans. So far his year, six states have passed laws banning virtually all abortions, although they're facing court challenges and none have gone into effect.
The "X-Men: Dark Phoenix" co-stars told Sky News they've signed a letter joining the Hollywood boycott.
"There's a letter going around that I signed saying I'm not going to work in any state that denies rights for women, for the LGBTQ community, for anyone," Chastain said. "I'm not going to work in a state that discriminates."
"I have yet to tell my agents I signed it," Turner added. "They're going to be like, 'What? You can't work in these states?' Yeah, I can't work in these states."
The reporter noted that "Game of Thrones" — which launched Turner's career and just concluded its eighth and final season — was largely filmed in Northern Ireland, a country where almost all abortions are illegal.
"There was a lot of work on 'Game of Thrones" there,' Turner said. "So luckily we're moving on."
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on May 7 signed a bill that would make abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected — generally at about six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. The backlash could jeopardize Georgia's growing film and television production industry.
In March, Alyssa Milano shared an open letter signed by 50 actors against Georgia's "fetal heartbeat" ban — possibly the same letter than Chastain and Turner are referring to. Some of the actors who have signed that letter include Ben Stiller, Don Cheadle, Sophia Bush, Mia Farrow, Rosie O'Donnell, Sean Penn, Amy Schumer and Gabrielle Union.
"We want to stay in Georgia," the letter says. "We want to continue to support the wonderful people, businesses and communities we have come to love in the Peach State. But we will not do so silently, and we will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if H.B. 481 becomes law."
Half a dozen media companies, including Netflix, HBO owner WarnerMedia, the Walt Disney Co., NBCUniversal, and CBS and its Showtime unit, have said they'd reconsider working in Georgia if the abortion ban goes into effect.
The spotlight is on Georgia because the state attracts movie shoots through generous tax credits to producers and studios. In 2018, its film industry supported more than 92,000 local full-time and part-time jobs in Georgia and $2.7 billion in direct spending, according to state officials.
Some entertainment industry figures have cautioned against boycotting Georgia because of the economic toll it would take on ordinary workers and have instead backed other forms of protest. Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are continuing projects in the state and are vowing to donate their salaries to the American Civil Liberties Union and abortion rights groups.
Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have also passed laws that prohibit abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. If not blocked in court, the Georgia law would take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
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