Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish canceled a scheduled stand-up show in Atlanta in opposition to Georgia’s new “fetal heartbeat bill” that virtually outlaws all abortion in the state.
Haddish was scheduled to perform at the famed Fox Theater on June 22 but sent out a message to ticketholders on Saturday notifying them that they would be issued refunds for purchased tickets, the Associated Press reports.
“After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta,” Haddish said in a statement, according to WSB-TV. “I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there.”
The controversial bill outlaws abortions as soon as doctors detect a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy when many women aren’t even aware that they are pregnant. The restrictive legislation also requires women to file a police report before they can terminate a pregnancy caused by rape or incest, according to the Associated Press.
Solo entertainers and major studios including Disney, Warner Media, and Netflix have vowed to boycott Georgia because of the recently-passed abortion law that goes in effect in 2020.
The Root’s Anne Branigin writes:
In recent years, the Peach State has earned the nickname “The Hollywood of the South,” for its ability to draw major film productions, including some of Marvel’s highest-grossing films (Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame), AMC’s The Walking Dead and Netflix’s Stranger Things. Tyler Perry’s company, Tyler Perry Studios, is also based in Atlanta.
According to the Los Angeles Times (citing data from FilmLA), Georgia hosted 15 of the 100 highest-grossing domestic films in 2017—surpassing California’s numbers that year and the year prior. This is thanks in part to the state’s generous tax incentives for film production companies. In 2018 alone, 455 productions were filmed in the state.
But as the Los Angeles Times notes, despite Hollywood’s reputation as a liberal stronghold, the industry’s response has been muted thus far to Georgia’s draconian abortion bill, particularly compared to its outcry against anti-gay legislation passed in the state just three years ago.
Then, industry heavyweights like Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc. leveraged their power, threatening to pull productions if the law, which gave businesses the right to deny services to LGBTQ people on religious grounds, was enacted. Nathan Deal, Georgia’s governor at the time, ended up vetoing the bill.
Several groups, including the ACLU, have challenged the Georgia law, which is still less draconian than the Alabama law that sentences doctors who perform abortion up to 99 years in jail.