Amazon show director pulls series out of Georgia due to abortion bill

PHOTO: Director Reed Morano visits the SiriusXM Studios, Sept. 13, 2018, in New York City.PlayAstrid Stawiarz/Getty Images, FILE
WATCH Boycotts called for Alabama, Georgia over abortion bills

An Amazon Studios show that had been slated to shoot in Georgia will no longer do so as a result of the state's controversial new abortion law.

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Director Reed Morano told Time magazine that although she'd planned to film "The Power," a new drama based on a novel by Naomi Alderman, in the Savannah area, she has since decided against it.

For the past few months, employees of the 10-part series had been scouting the region for shooting locations, but after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the "heartbeat" bill into law, Morano pulled them.

"We had no problem stopping the entire process instantly," Morano told the magazine. "There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there."

Executive producers Jane Featherstone and Naomi De Pear of Sister Pictures added in a statement to Variety that "no production commitments have yet been made to shoot in any location in the U.S."

"The collective decision taken by Sister Pictures and Reed Morano to cancel the planned scout to Georgia for 'The Power' is a direct response to the signing of the 'heartbeat bill,'" they stated. "We feel we have to stand up for a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, and so while this is not a decision we have taken lightly, we feel strongly that it is the right one at this point in time."

A representative for Amazon told "Good Morning America" the company had no comment.

Georgia's new bill would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Several other states have passed similar laws in recent months, including Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky. And, in Alabama, the state's governor, Kay Ivey, recently signed a bill which makes performing an abortion a felony, with no exemption for victims of rape or incest. All of these bills will face legal battles, and none have been enacted.

However, Hollywood stands to make perhaps the biggest splash in Georgia, where many films and TV shows are made. Almost immediately after Kemp signed the Georgia bill, two filmmakers, David Simon of Blown Deadline Productions and Christine Vachon of Killer Films, announced that they'd no longer work in the state. Chris Ortman, a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America, told "Good Morning America" at the time that film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and "brings significant economic benefits to communities and families."

Morano told Time that the "hardest part" of changing course with "The Power" was potentially hurting Georgians who would've otherwise worked on the project, but added: "Having this basic fundamental right for women is more important than anything in this moment in time."

Time also confirmed with a representative for Kristen Wiig that the actress' upcoming film "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar," which she co-wrote and will star in, was also pulled from Georgia after the bill was signed. Her publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Editor's note: This headline has been updated to reflect it was Morano's decision.