California’s Governor Tells Hollywood Film Industry It Shouldn’t Make Films in Georgia on Moral and Political Grounds

Toby Hazlewood

Another attack on states outside California from Newsom

On July 4, California's Governor Gavin Newsom spent $105,000 on TV adverts to run in Florida. He used those adverts to make the claim that "freedom is under attack" in Florida and invited residents of the state to move to California "where we still believe in freedom".

On August 3, almost exactly a month later, the Californian Democrat has shifted his focus onto other Republican-led states - this time Georgia has become the target.

Newsom took out a full-page advert in the Hollywood publication Variety - targeted at film makers - asking them to consider their conscience when filming in states like Georgia that have placed limits on abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.
Variety Advert by Gavin NewsomTwitter of GavinNewsom

A moral issue?

Within the advert, Newsom tries to place a moral-burden upon film makers in deciding where they choose to make films based on political issues:

"Over the past several years, the legislatures of states like Georgia and Oklahoma have waged a cruel assault on essential rights."

He continues:

"Today more than ever, you have a responsibility to take stock of your values — and those of your employees — when doing business in those states."

Whether the adverts will serve any useful purpose or prompt any major Hollywood directors to change their minds about filming in Georgia remains to be seen.

First Florida, then Texas, now Georgia

It would seem that Newsom is trying to spread his name and reputation beyond his home state of California - something that many commentators have suggested is a transparent means of building his profile in the Democratic party, possibly in preparation for a presidential campaign in 2024.

In late July, Newsom took out print adverts in a number of Texas newspapers in which he reworked speeches made by Governor Abbott of Texas to frame California in a positive light. It remains to be seen whether that campaign achieved anything more than the Florida one before it.

A cynical response

Georgia's residents and in particular its Republican leadership may feel inclined to respond in much the same way as Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida did when Newsom ran his TV adverts on July 4 - with cynicism and sarcasm.

DeSantis brushed off remarks from Newsom about Florida, and suggested that instead of Floridians moving to Calfornia, instead it was Californians who were moving to Florida:

The potential impact of these adverts in Georgia will only emerge in the longer term if the state sees less and less films being made within its borders. Meanwhile, if his objective was to build his profile in states like Georgia then it doesn't seem clear that he will have done so, at least not in a favorable way.

What do you think about the Governor of California suggesting that Hollywood film makers should avoid Georgia on the basis of its politics? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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