Actor Jason Bateman is vowing to boycott U.S. states where a woman’s right to abortion is outlawed.
The Horrible Bosses star, who shoots the bulk of his hit Netflix show Ozark in Georgia, has become the latest celebrity to speak out against the rise of conservative legislation aimed at severely limiting options for pregnancy termination.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently signed the “heartbeat bill” outlawing abortions once a foetal heartbeat can be detected, which usually occurs at around six weeks of gestation – before many women even discover they are expecting.
Lawmakers in Alabama have since taken their anti-abortion campaign even further, voting on Tuesday (14May19) to pass the HB 314 bill, which severely restricts pregnancy termination and threatens doctors with a 99-year prison sentence if they ignore the ruling.
Pro-choice activists are currently fighting the legislation, in the hopes of having the laws overturned before they come into effect, and now Bateman is using his career to throw his support behind the effort by refusing to work in states like Georgia, where production officials are typically granted tax breaks to film in the area.
In a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter, he declares: “If the ‘heartbeat bill’ makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights.”
Actor-turned-director Ron Howard, who narrates Bateman’s sitcom Arrested Development, and his Imagine Entertainment production partner Brian Grazer have also weighed in on the hot topic as they prepare to film new Amy Adams movie Hillbilly Elegy in Georgia.
“After much thought and deliberation, we decided to continue with shooting Hillbilly Elegy in Georgia next month,” Howard and Grazer explain to the publication.
“We felt we could not abandon the hundreds of women, and men, whose means of support depend on this production – including those who directly contribute on the film, and the businesses in the community that sustain the production.”
However, they won’t be returning to the state while the anti-abortion law remains in place.
They continue: “We see Governor Kemp’s bill as a direct attack on women’s rights, and we will be making a donation to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) to support their battle against this oppressive legislation.
“Should this law go into effect in January, we will boycott the state as a production center.”
Howard and Grazer join the likes of fellow directors J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele, who have also promised to donate their fees for their upcoming TV drama, Lovecraft Country, to officials at the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia to help them challenge the legislation as they press on with plans to film the series in the state.