Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams will shoot HBO drama in Georgia, donate their fees to fight ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Originally posted Saturday, May 11, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams have agreed to shoot an upcoming HBO horror drama "Lovecraft Country" in Georgia but will donate their own fees to charity to help battle a severely restrictive "heartbeat" abortion bill signed into law this past week by Gov. Brian Kemp.

This a different tactic from some actors and a handful of outside TV and film production companies calling for a boycott of the state. Rather, it's more in line with working within the state to foment change.

The bill would largely restrict abortions after five or six weeks when a doctor could detect a fetal heartbeat.

Peele and Abrams, in a statement, said their episodic producer fees will go to the ACLU  and Fair Fight Georgia, Stacey Abrams' group. Both groups are against the new law and the ACLU is planning to file a federal lawsuit to stop it from being enacted on January 1, 2020.

The two producers said this bill is an "unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms. Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women."
They also encouraged others to funnel donations to ACLU and Fair Fight Georgia.

Anti-abortion activists have helped pass several similar laws in other states but they have been all shot down by the courts - so far.

Peele, earlier known as a comedic genius on Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” has segued into a go-to horror producer after the success of “Get Out” and “Us,” along with his revival of “Twilight Zone” on CBS All Access.

Abrams is one of the top sci-fi producers in Hollywood with an extensive resume including several “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” films, “Mission Impossible III,” “Lost” and “Westworld,” to name a few.

HBO, after eschewing Georgia for many years, is currently producing its high-budget series "Watchmen" in the state and in 2017 shot part of its Amy Adams short series "Sharp Objects" in Barnesville. The 2016 film about Anita Hill called "Confirmation" starring Kerry Washington was also produced locally.

"Lovecraft Country" will star Jonathan Majors ("Hostiles") and Jurnee Smollett-Bell ("Underground").

This is the descriptive of the series:

Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Black (Majors) as he joins up with his friend Letitia (Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. Thus begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.