Stacey Abrams Urges Hollywood to Not End Production in Georgia After Celebs Protest Her Loss

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams addresses supporters during an election night watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Atlanta. Abrams spoke about expecting a runoff with Republican opponent Brian Kemp. (AP Photo/John Amis)
AP Photo/John Amis

Failed Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is calling on Hollywood not to pull out its television and movie production from the Peach State in protest of her loss to Republican Brian Kemp.

“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 on Saturday. “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.”

Despite vowing to “win” the race for governor, Abrams admitted defeat to Kemp the previous day, telling supporters that she “acknowledge[s] that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial elections.”

Reacting to Veep executive producer Frank Rich’s call for Hollywood to pull out of Georgia if Kemp won, Abrams tweeted: “Thank you @frankrichny – but the Georgians who make a living & take care of their families through entertainment are not to blame for the gross mismanagement of our democracy here in Georgia. We will hold folks accountable. Please lift up as the call to action.”

Over the weekend, several Democrat-supporting celebrities, including actress Alyssa Milano and Hellboy star Ron Perlman, encouraged Tinseltown executives to flee in protest of the Abrams’ loss.

“There are over 20 productions shooting in Georgia,” claimed Milano. “Is the entertainment industry willing to support the economy of a totally corrupt state that suppresses democracy; where the winner isn’t the best choice for the people but the best schemer or crook?”

“To all my friends who are studio and network executives, if you choose to shoot movies and tv in Georgia, don’t bother to call me,” Perlman tweeted.

https://twitter.com/perlmutations/status/1063829163398828037

Two days after the election, The West Wing star Bradley Whitford tweeted: “Brian Kemp is a corrupt, homophobic, unapologetic disenfranchiser of African American voters. If he seizes power, Hollywood needs to use it’s leverage and pull out of Georgia. Studios need to put their money where their mouth is and stand up to hate.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia enjoyed a “banner year” in 2018 regarding its entertainment business due to ample tax credits:

The state had 455 qualified TV and film productions in FY2018, which covers July 1, 2017 through June 30 of this year, by far the most since the tax credits were passed in 2008. To qualify, a production needs to spend at least $500,000 in the state and the company can receive up to a 30 percent tax credit.

The Governor’s office said there was $2.7 billion in direct spending in the state from these productions, which ranged from “The Walking Dead” and “Ozark” to “Tag” and “Mile 22,” which came out this past weekend. That is about the same amount as the previous year, when some big-budget extravaganzas such as “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” were in production.

Overall, it’s ten-fold increase from 2008 before the tax credits were sweetened.

Abrams campaign officials argued Kemp, who served as George’s Secretary of State, engaged in “gross management” of the election, announcing last week they would file a federal lawsuit against the Republican. Abrams’ top campaign aide, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, is overseeing a team of nearly three dozen lawyers “who in the coming days will draft the petition, along with a ream of affidavits from voters and would-be voters who say they were disenfranchised,” the Associated Press reported.

A spokesperson for Kemp’s campaign called the legal challenge a “publicity stunt” and accused the progressive lawmaker of experiencing a “ridiculous temper tantrum.”

Georgia Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden certified the election with Abrams receiving 1,923,685 votes and Kemp with 1,978,408 votes.

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