Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams might not have won her campaign to become the state’s first Black female governor. But she’s still acting like the leader she is by making a plea to Hollywood to keep doing business with the peach state.
Hollywood has been threatening to boycott Georgia after the controversial election of Brian Kemp, who supervised the electorial proceedings in his role as secretary of state and chief elections adminstrator, according to Deadline. Abrams, who has never officially conceded, blames voter suppression, making Kemp’s role as secretary of state even more suspect. But Abrams asked people to support fair elections instead of taking money out of the state.
“I appreciate the calls to action, but I ask all of our entertainment industry friends to support #FairFightGA–but please do not #boycottgeorgia,” she wrote on her Twitter page. “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.”
The #BoycottGeorgia movement has been spearheaded and supported by actors and insiders including progressive columnist Frank Rich and actress Alyssa Milano, who wrote on Twitter, “There are 20 productions shooting in Georgia. 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?”
As Atlanta’s 11 Alive reported, not everyone is on board with the concept and instead side with Abrams with calls to end the talk of boycotts. One Twitter user, @cjoshuav, wrote that the boycott movement “hurts deep blue Atlanta, and the deep blue people who make their living from the entertainment industry. Please don’t punish progressive, hard-working people because of a bunch of bigots, racists, idiots, kleptocrats and liars.”
BET has also come out against the boycott movement, with writer Renee Samuel calling the move an example of White privilege.
“This is another case when [W]hite folks need to…mind their privileged business, she wrote. “…While boycotts can be effective, the boycott from the likes of Milano and [Frank] Rich is an example of so-called ‘well-intentioned’ white people making bold statements from a position of privilege without thinking about who it might affect,” she wrote.
“In addition, Georgia is not just a second home to Hollywood, bit’s a main hub for Black Hollywood and has been for over 10 years,” she continued, outlining how tax breaks help build Georgia’s filmmaking hub, which helped generate $9.5 billion for the state.
“While there is no way to know how much of the 9.5 billion come from Black dollars, it is arguably more than one would think from reality shows to the only Black-owned studio, Tyler Perry Studios, which is where portions of Black Panther was filmed.”
“…Boycotting Georgia is not effective, especially when there will be little to no affect on your lives,” she wrote.