Jason Bateman is a champion for womens’ rights.
The 50-year-old Ozark actor, perhaps best known for starring with the stellar cast in Arrested Development, made his stance very clear when he said he would refuse to work in states that would institute the controversial “heartbeat” bills.
The anti-abortion legislation bars doctors from performing abortions on a detectable fetal heartbeat, which is usally at six weeks of pregnancy.
Most women who are untentionally pregnant do not realize they are pregnant six weeks after their last period.
Exceptions will be granted in some states only if the pregnant woman’s life is at risk or if a police report of rape or incest has been filed. However Alabama’s law doesn’t include the rape or incest exception.
Bateman stars in Ozark and the new HBO show The Outsider for which he also serves as executive producer. Both currently film in Georgia.
But with Georgia Gov. Brian Kem (R) signing HB 481 into law on Tuesday, Hollywood is threatening a boycott of the state that could affect current productions filming there.
Bateman told The Hollywood Reporter:
“If the ‘heartbeat bill’ makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights.”
"If the 'heartbeat bill' makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights." @batemanjason, who films #Ozark in #Georgia, on the state's controversial legislation https://t.co/iTTtfUK2H2 pic.twitter.com/wDu98nurR0
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 17, 2019
Many television shows like Netflix’s Stranger Things and AMC’s The Walking Dead shoot in Georgia because of a 30% tax credit program.
But with Bateman joining other voices in the entertainment industry—including Alyssa Milano who co-stars in the Georgia filmed Netflix series Insatiable—in speaking out against the legislation and calling for a state ban, it could have a negative impact on Georgia’s economy.
His statement set off a litany of scathing responses, with many undermining his credibility as an actor which has nothing to do with the controversy surrounding HB 481.
Others sided with the actor and expressed gratitude for taking a stand.
He is a father of a beautiful daughter. He gets it. I've always loved him too, glad I can still enjoy his awesomeness through all this crazy. Thank you Jason Bateman. 😘👍❤
— Beingme (@ang2879) May 17, 2019
Another reason to love Jason Bateman!
— SarahCA 💙🌊 (@SarahBCalif) May 17, 2019
About time someone in Hollywood with balls took a stance! Thank you JB!
— Mandy Fellows (@sonorantrails69) May 17, 2019
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is asking for Hollywood to support local organizations fighting against the legislation instead of a boycott.
Abrams, who may announce a presidential run, told The Los Angeles Times:
“Georgia is the only state that is such a deep part of the film industry that also has the type of draconian leadership that would seek to strip a woman’s autonomy in this way.”
— BrandSituation (@BrandSituation) May 17, 2019
She proposed that it puts the industry in a “position to fight back—not only against the legislation here but the legislation around the country—and to fund the defeat of these politicians and their horrible behavior by using the resources available through the entertainment industry.”
“While I support those who want to live their values by not bringing their resources here, I do not want to harm the citizens of Georgia who are doing this work.”
The legislation is set to become a law on January 1, but Planned Parenthood vowed to sue Georgia over the legislation and will work to remove GOP lawmakers who voted for the bill.