ATLANTA — Following the cancellation of Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's planned May trip to Hollywood to tour studios who have been bringing productions to Georgia, his Democratic political rival Stacey Abrams is planning to go instead.
Kemp canceled his trip in the wake of the ongoing fallout over the state's new 'heartbeat' abortion ban.
Abrams plans to meet with Hollywood studios and professionals in Los Angeles on June 11, according to a published report, along with the president of a national abortion rights group to discuss the fact that employees in the state may not have full access to healthcare.
The General Assembly passed the measure, which was championed by Kemp during his candidacy. It bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, usually at six weeks following conception.
Prior to Kemp signing the measure, a large group of Hollywood professionals signed a letter opposing the legislation, promising to not work in Georgia if the measure becomes law.
In lieu of his canceled trip to Hollywood, Kemp visited Fayetteville's Pinewood Studios Atlanta, though he never set foot inside any of the soundstages at the massive facility, in spite of a press release issued by his office.
“Did we actually go into one of the warehouses? No,” Kemp spokesman Cody Hall told 11Alive. He said Kemp got a “windshield tour” of the grounds outside the sound stages and “spoke with some of the executives” from Pinewood during that ride. Kemp also visited an outdoor area where a movie scene was shot.
That's "not actually the studios where people are working," said film industry veteran Sara Riney, who added she’s not surprised Kemp didn’t risk encounters with film industry workers --- whose jobs have been threatened with fallout from the abortion law.
In the weeks since, along with Hollywood professionals, several major studios, including WarnerMedia, Netflix, NBC Universal, Disney and AMC have announced plans to "rethink" investments in Georgia should the new law take effect on January 1, as planned.
Voters in some Georgia counties, like Cherokee County, where many scenes of the Netflix hit series "Ozark" are produced, told 11Alive this week they were not happy with what they called bullying tactics by Hollywood professionals and studios.
"Georgia is a pretty conservative state," said Danny Biebricher, who runs a Lake Allatoona marina across from a site used in "Ozark."
Biebricher says he likes the money that has poured into the area from filmmakers.
"A lot of the folks would say we were okay before Hollywood came, and we'll be fine after Hollywood leaves, if that's what they choose to do," he told 11Alive News on Monday.
Georgia's abortion ban goes into effect on January 1, 2020, if not blocked by in court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.