Hollywood’s Partisan Reaction to Election Loss Threatens Georgia Workers
Calls to boycott the film industry get blowback from actors and losing candidate alike
From entertainment industry professionals to the politician herself, calls to boycott Georgia’s film industry in response to the loss by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (shown above right) are receiving intense blowback.
“These people in Hollywood … they’re conceited, they’re selfish … and they don’t care about America. They don’t care about this country,” said actor and California politician Antonio Sabato Jr. (above left) to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), who guest-hosted Tuesday night’s “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News.
“These people in Hollywood, they make a lot of money. They travel in private jets … but there are people working for them in production companies like in Georgia. They need jobs. They need to work. It’s unfair to them,” added Sabato.
“I’ve never seen so much hate coming from Hollywood in my entire life,” he said.
He noted he was personally blacklisted — after working for 30 years in the industry — due to his conservative political stance and support of President Donald Trump.
“This is not about million-dollar actors. This is about the folks who work behind the scenes, whose names may be rolled on a credit — but these are folks who have to feed their families and put food on the table,” said Huckabee, referring to the crews, makeup artists, transportation workers, and other non-actors who toil in Georgia’s thriving film industry.
Though Sabato suffered a loss to Democratic incumbent Julia Brownley in a race to represent California’s 26th district in Ventura County a few weeks ago, he did not call for recounts or threaten to launch a boycott in the state, unlike some of his entertainment industry colleagues who fashion themselves political activists.
“Thank you to all my supporters who stood by me throughout the campaign. We fought hard and I’m truly grateful for my team of volunteers and my entire community of amazing people, really amazing!! Thank you,” Sabato said on Twitter the day after the polls closed.
Thank you to all my supporters who stood by me throughout the campaign. We fought hard and I’m truly grateful for my team of volunteers & my entire community of amazing people, really Amazing!!
Thank you 🙏
— Antonio Sabáto Jr 🇺🇸 (@AntonioSabatoJr) November 7, 2018
Last week, leftist actor and activist Alyssa Milano called for the entertainment industry to boycott Georgia.
She said the state was “corrupt,” and called Brian Kemp, the Republican victor in the race, a “schemer or crook” following a loss by the candidate she favored.
There are over 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?
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) November 17, 2018
Other members of the glitterati expressed their support for the cruel initiative, including Frank Rich, Bradley Whitford, and Steven Pasquale.
Abrams herself — to her credit — respectfully requested that the industry ignore Milano and her cronies’ poorly thought-out “boycott,” which would only punish hardworking Georgians.
I appreciate the calls to action, but I ask all of our entertainment industry friends to support #FairFightGA – but please do not #boycottgeorgia. 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.
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 18, 2018
Industry professionals such as actor Steve Coulter of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and HBO’s “House of Cards,” as well as actor Dustin Lewis of “First Man” and “The Hate u Give” movies, called out Milano and did not mince words.
“This #BoycottGeorgia crap is about to make my head explode. @Alyssa_Milano @perlmutations @WhitfordBradley Instead of hurting all of us who have families and careers here, join us in fighting. Killing our livelihood is a slap in the face to your fellow SAG-AFTRA Artists #sagaftra,” Dustin Lewis tweeted on Sunday.
This #BoycottGeorgia crap is about to make my head explode. @Alyssa_Milano @perlmutations @WhitfordBradley Instead of hurting all of us who have families and careers here, join us in fighting. Killing our livelihood is a slap in the face to your fellow SAG-AFTRA Artists #sagaftra
— Dustin Lewis (@RealDustinLewis) November 18, 2018
“Please stop talk of #boycottgeorgia. Tens of thousands of actors, crew and vendors make our living here. I have for over 25 years. Don’t punish the thriving industry here because of state leadership. We’re slowly turning GA blue. HELP us, don’t HURT us. #WeAreGeorgia,” Coulter tweeted on Monday morning.
Please stop talk of #boycottgeorgia. Tens of thousands of actors, crew and vendors make our living here. I have for over 25 years. Don’t punish the thriving industry here because of state leadership. We’re slowly turning GA blue. HELP us don’t HURT us. #WeAreGeorgia
— Steve Coulter (@coulter28) November 19, 2018
Georgia is known as the Hollywood of the South for a good reason: More major feature films were made in the state in 2016 than were made in California, as Time reported.
The industry employs many Georgians.
And the state has invested heavily in tax incentives to continue to attract productions like “The Walking Dead” to the Peach State.
As late as last Sunday, Stacey Abrams steadfastly refused to call now Gov.-Elect Kemp “legitimate,” instead promising to launch a federal lawsuit over what she maintains are actions Kemp took in his role as secretary of state to disenfranchise Georgians who otherwise would have voted for her.
Sigh. We have 30,000 people in Georgia working in film and television. Thousands of union and guild members. Our jobs and lives aren't pawns for you or for "Hollywood". I hope Abrams wins. I also hope that consumers of our products aren't so foolish as to agree with you.
— James Feldman (@james_feldman) November 7, 2018
that will never happen. Georgia basically writes multimillion dollar checks to Hollywood to pay productions for filming there.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) November 7, 2018
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Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.