Why Hollywood stars want studios to boycott states like Kentucky

Elizabeth Debicki speaks at the red carpet for the Women In Film gala (Associated Press Video)
Elizabeth Debicki speaks at the red carpet for the Women In Film gala (Associated Press Video)(WKYT)
Published: Jun. 14, 2019 at 10:54 AM EDT
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Some of Hollywood's biggest stars want studios to boycott states like Kentucky if restrictive abortion laws to go into effect.

Elizabeth Debicki and other actresses attending the annual Women in Film gala said it's the duty of Hollywood studios to boycott those states, while others pointed out that such a move could have unintended consequences.

Speaking from the red carpet in Beverly Hills, Debicki who stars in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" said a boycott would make "a very important, powerful statement that we don't stand by or abide that kind of behavior or rule-making or law-making."

"It is deeply disempowering for women," she said.

In May, a federal judge struck down Kentucky's abortion law that would halt a common second-trimester procedure to end pregnancies. Gov. Matt Bevin immediately vowed to appeal.

Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have enacted bills barring abortion once there's a detectable fetal heartbeat, as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

Missouri's governor signed a bill last month approving an eight-week ban on abortion, with exceptions only for medical emergencies.

Alabama has gone even further, outlawing virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest.

None of the bans has taken effect, and all are expected to face legal challenges like Kentucky's.

Netflix and other major Hollywood studios have said they're reevaluating filming in Georgia if its abortion law goes into effect.

Actress Erika Christensen teared up when asked how she has felt watching state after state pass stringent abortion laws, likening it to Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale," which depicts women being ruled as property in a future dystopian United States.

"It gives me the chills," Christensen said, though she wasn't entirely sure a studio boycott would be good.

"That's so complicated because there are so many women working in those states," she said. "Of course, I support the threat because that could be really useful. But I don't know the economics of pulling out of those states and how that would affect female crew members."

Oscar-winning producer Cathy Schulman agreed.

"I've had some of my best working experiences in these states, and I cherish each individual who's worked on these shows and stays in contact with me to get the work and needs the work," said Schulman, who co-produced 2004's "Crash." "We just have to be careful. There's individuals involved who didn't pass these laws."

Still, she said, she couldn't be a part of a production being filmed in any state that essentially bans abortion.

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