Monday, November 19, 2018


Photo courtesy of Atlanta Magazine
Photo courtesy of Atlanta Magazine
Photo courtesy of Creative Loafing

Talk about Hollywood's money trying to steal an election and using money to blackmail Georgia voters! Many of you may not know that Georgia has become the Hollywood of the southeast! It is a huge industry with movies and television shows being made here and in many of our cities to include Savannah, Augusta (Clint Eastwood just completed a film there) Macon and of course Atlanta.

The most famous television serial filmed in Georgia  is The Walking Dead 💀

This article is in this morning's Augusta Chronicle:

State tries to calm Hollywood revolt

Kemp, Abrams work to stem backlash from film industry after GOP victory

Georgia’s top politicians tried to stem a revolt from some Hollywood executives who threatened to boycott the state’s booming film industry after Brian Kemp won the race for governor, urging moviemakers not to take their frustration out on thousands of workers who depend on their investments.

“The hard-working Georgians who serve on crews and make a living here are not to blame,” wrote Democrat Stacey Abrams, whose campaign for governor benefited from the filmmaking industry’s support, in a message on Twitter. “I promise: We will fight – and we will win.”

And the governor-elect’s campaign tried to tone down the rhetoric, with a statement Sunday reinforcing his support for the film tax credit and asserting that “it’s time to move past divisive politics and work together toward a safer, stronger Georgia.”

The threats came from a handful of prominent movie industry insiders after 10 days of post-election drama ended with final vote tallies showing Kemp edged out Abrams by roughly 55,000 votes. Abrams ended her campaign with a fiery speech in which she announced a new group to challenge Kemp’s “gross mismanagement” of the election in court.

Some of the Hollywood critics voiced concern about Kemp’s support for a controversial “religious liberty” measure that Abrams staunchly opposed, as well as claims that Kemp abused his role as secretary of state to suppress votes and boost his campaign for governor.

Several actors used a #BoycottGeorgia hashtag on Twitter, including actress Alyssa Milano — who shot Netflix’s “Insatiable” in Atlanta, “West Wing” actor Bradley Whitford, actor Steven Pasquale and Ron Perlman.

“To all my friends who are studio and network executives,” wrote Perlman, a producer and actor, “if you choose to shoot movies and tv in Georgia, don’t bother to call me.”

The film industry has exploded in Georgia since tax incentives were first signed into law in 2005, turning the state into one of the most popular filming locations in the world and spawning a string of studios, editing hubs and post-production businesses that cater to filmmakers.

Gov. Nathan Deal has jealously guarded the tax credit from any threat from fiscal conservatives who want to weaken the program, which is the most generous in the country in terms of direct payouts in part because it doesn’t cap the incentives.

His office said in August that a record 455 productions were shot in Georgia in the last fiscal year, garnering a record $9.5 billion economic impact and $2.7 billion in direct spending.

The program is so popular, in fact, that Kemp and other leading Republicans all supported the costly tax credits during the primary earlier this year - even as they called for reviews or the elimination of other tax breaks they described as wasteful spending, something that rarely, if ever, actually happens.

Still, that hasn’t eliminated tension between a largely liberal Hollywood establishment and a Deep South state where Republicans have controlled every statewide office for much of the last decade.

One of the biggest flashpoints is a perennial battle over “religious liberty” legislation that supporters say is needed to provide extra legal protections to the faith-based, but critics call state-sanctioned discrimination.

The governor vetoed the legislation in 2016 amid a swirl of threats from filmmakers and other business titans to leave Georgia, and lawmakers haven’t passed the measure since. But Kemp has promised to sign a version of the proposal that mirrors a federal law passed with bipartisan support in 1993.

And Republicans have regularly targeted the movie industry on the campaign trail, either to galvanize conservative supporters or blast Democrats for benefiting from celebrity support.

In the Republican runoff, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle called for a boycott of filmmaker Judd Apatow after he criticized President Donald Trump. That led to a rebuke from Deal, who has appeared at red-carpet events in Atlanta and private gatherings in Hollywood to demonstrate his support for the industry.

“The film industry should be very cautious of trying to tell Georgia what its social policies should be. They will get reactions if they go too far,” Deal said in an interview then. “And likewise, the state of Georgia should be very cautious telling them what their social policies should be. There’s a happy middle ground, and so far we’ve found it.”

And Vice President Mike Pence drew headlines when he declared at a string of campaign stops in Georgia this month that “this ain’t Hollywood” as he assailed Abrams’ high-profile supporters. That led to snickering from Democrats who noted that, in a way, Georgia was Hollywood.

Abrams, indeed, benefited from tremendous support from celebrities, including mega-fund-raisers featuring Atlanta hip-hop legends, a string of campaign stops from Hollywood stars and a mega-watt pre-election visit from media icon Oprah Winfrey.

Abrams received heavy financial backing from filmmakers, directors, producers, actors and actresses, musicians and others in the entertainment industry. She collected more than $4.6 million in contributions of more than $100 from California and New York, the two states that dominate the film, theater, and media industries, according to a review of campaign disclosures.

Among her big donors were filmmakers Steven Spielberg ($6,600) and Tyler Perry ($6,600); Milano ($2,750) and fellow actresses Jada Smith ($10,000), Meryl Streep ($1,000), Tracee Ellis Ross ($5,000), Kate Capshaw Spielberg ($6,600) and Tiffany Haddish ($7,500); and actors Will Ferrell ($6,600), Chris Rock ($5,000) and Ben Affleck ($2,500). She also received donations from John Legend ($2,700), Ludacris ($5,000), Marlon Wayans ($5,000), movie director Rob Reiner ($2,000), director Seith Mann ($6,800) and celebrity couple Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman ($5,000).

Abrams also received backing from the Georgia Production Partnership ($5,000), the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition ($2,500) and the Film Workers PAC ($6,600). The groups also contributed to Kemp’s campaign.

Georgians in the film industry amplified Abrams’ warnings against a boycott. Jacob York, an actor and writer on a program on Atlanta-based Adult Swim, urged Hollywood executives to think about the lives they would affect if they pull the plug on Georgia productions.

“When you say #BoycottGeorgia, you boycott me paying rent,” York wrote on social media. “You boycott raising kids, paying for braces and trying to make a living. All the artists I know in Georgia are mad as hell. But you saying ‘boycott Georgia’ primarily hurts people who already agree with you.”


Anonymous said...

Georgia conservatives hate “Hollywood values” but love that Hollywood money.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Ya betta believe it!

Anonymous said...

Consider the (im)morality of giving millions, sometimes tens of millions, of dollars in tax cuts to movie moguls whose companies make hundreds of millions of dollars, sometimes on a single movie. Disney made $2.5 billion in profit in 2016.

When the "invaders" are invited in, enticed by tax breaks, feted like the robber-barons they are, it is hard to understand how this can be understood as an "invasion."

Money is our nation's god.

In a similar vein, New York gave Amazon $3 billion in state and city tax breaks to Amazon to encourage their putting the HQ2 there. That's $48K for every tax payer in the state going to one of the biggest, most profitable corporations in the world. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, chairman, president and CEO, has a personal net worth of almost $140 billion.

OH! It will bring high-paying jobs! Will those high wage earners repay the taxpayers of NY the $48K I wonder...?

But, let's give this man and this company a tax break...

Anonymous said...

Georgia is turning into a liberal state, and of course it is driven by the 29-country metro Atlanta area. Abrams beat Kemp by 14 points in the region, which accounts for about three-fifths of the state's total votes, and won 8 of Georgia's 10 largest voting counties. Fulton County, traditionally the state's largest county, went for Abrams by more than 40 points (almost 195,000 votes). DeKalb County (older timers might remember DeKalb as the home base of the fiery, former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney) backed Abrams by more than 65 points (210,000votes). Only the rural votes saved Kemp, but that rural strategy probably won't work again (in his re-election)---he'll need to hold down losses in metro Atlanta next time. Fortunately he has 4 years to figure out a winning re-election strategy.

Chatham County (Savannah) is definitely in the blue camp. Abrams won it by nearly a 3-2 margin.

Kemp is the first secretary of state elected governor here in ages, if ever, and unlike his predecessors of the last 60 years, is not Baptist or Methodist. Catholic-Lite (Episcopal). Who knows, with Catholic growth in north Georgia, maybe we'll elect one of our own someday....

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Even as I type Fisney is filming Lady and the Tramp by our cathedral and has sprayed the square wine fake snow to appear as a snow storm! It is 70 now and sunny 😎

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...


TJM said...

I no longer go to any movies. I will not support evil. That a moron like Abrams could even be a serious candidate shows how serious the rot is in public life.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald, peprove you are not a liar.

"Comments that incorporate name-calling will be deleted."

rcg said...

It is interesting that Georgia would want the Hollywood crowd to relocate there. We have a live trap program here that relocates possums, coons, snakes, and skunks. We can send those to you, too.

Anonymous said...

"That a moron like Abrams could even be a serious candidate shows how serious the rot is in public life."

TJM, why do you question whether Abrams was a "serious" candidate? About 30 percent of the state's registered voters are black, and she got almost all of that. That gave her a local on at least a million votes on election day---probably more. And there were a lot of moderate Republican voters that voted for her in reaction to Trump and Kemp's "shotgun and pickup truck" ads. Look at how many state legislative seats the GOP lost in metro Atlanta 2 weeks ago. No, I did not vote for her---she was far too liberal for my tastes---and hopefully the majority of Catholics in metro Atlanta did not vote for her. But Georgia is a politically competitive state now---the era of Republican dominance, really over the last 15 years or so, is starting to fade.

Anonymous 2 said...


TJM can question whether “a moron like Abrams” could be a serious candidate because, sadly, he seems to think that ANY candidate that is not a Trump cult candidate is not a serious candidate. I wish and hope that what I have just written were not true, I wish and hope TJM would prove me wrong, but again, regrettably, I also believe my wish and hope would be dashed, so far has our Republic fallen.