Video: Spike Lee Compares Georgia Abortion Battle to Montgomery Bus Boycott

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 14: Director Spike Lee attends the screening of 'BlacKkKlansman' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 14, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Director Spike Lee has joined the slowly growing chorus of celebrities calling for Hollywood studios to pull their productions from Georgia over a state law that would ban abortions as early as six weeks, upon detection of a fetal heartbeat.

“They got to shut it down, you know?” Spike Lee said on the red carpet for Denzel Washington’s AFI Lifetime Achievement tribute Thursday. “I’m sorry — I’m not sorry — but I know it’s going to affect people’s livelihood, but that’s how things change.”

“There were black bus drivers in Montgomery and they were effective by the boycott but so be it,” the BlacKkKlansman helmer said, seemingly comparing the seminal Civil Rights Movement-era protest that lasted from December 1955 to December 1956 to the current debate over abortion brewing in a handful of states.

Most of the Hollywood studios that have commented on the George abortion law — including AMC, Disney, Netflix, WarnerMedia; the parent company of CNN, HBO, and TNT — have said they’re waiting to see if the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act actually takes effect next year, or if the courts will block it.

The state’s “heartbeat” law is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. But the ACLU and other organizations are mounting a legal fight to have the law blocked by a judge.

To date, no major studio has pulled production from the state, which has become known as the “Hollywood of the South” due to its tax incentives for filming. Actors like Alyssa Milano have called for a “sex strike” to fight the law, while pop star Miley Cyrus is partnering with Planned Parenthood and fashion house Marc Jacobs to sell “Don’t Fuck With My Freedom” hoodies, with 100% of the proceeds going to the abortion giant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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