The Hollywood boycott of states with highly restrictive abortion laws is continuing to pick up steam, with dozens of high-profile stars signing on to a pro-life state boycott, pledging not to work in states like Georgia that have passed “heartbeat bills” banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected. But some of those stars are being called out for their willingness to film in countries that have even more stringent abortion laws than the states they’re now boycotting.
Among those officially joining the boycott movement are Jessica Chastain and Sophie Turner, who are co-starring in the upcoming X-Men film “Dark Phoenix.” In an interview with Sky News published Wednesday, Chastain and Turner announced that they both signed a letter along with dozens of their colleagues pledging to boycott pro-life states.
“There’s a letter going around that I signed saying I’m not going to work in any state that denies rights for women, for the LGBTQ community, for anyone,” Chastain told Sky News. “I’m not going to work in a state that discriminates.”
“I signed it too,” said Turner. “I have yet to tell my agents I signed it. They’re going to be like: ‘What? You can’t work in these states?’ Yeah, I can’t work in these states.”
Turner was then asked about her willingness to work for years on “Game of Thrones,” most of which was filmed in Northern Ireland — “where women can face life in jail for aborting a pregnancy,” Sky News notes.
Turner didn’t try to reconcile the conflict; instead, she just expressed relief that the show is over. “There was a lot of work of ‘Game Of Thrones’ there, so luckily we’re moving on,” she said.
As highlighted by HuffPost a couple of weeks ago amid outrage over Alabama’s abortion bill, Northern Ireland, where a majority of the HBO series was filmed, “has some of the most restrictive abortion laws of any developed nation”:
Under no circumstances except to preserve the woman’s physical and mental health are abortions legal in Northern Ireland. And while the Alabama law penalizes doctors who perform abortion, threatening them with up to 99 years or life behind bars, Northern Ireland penalizes both the doctors and the women who terminate their pregnancies. Both can face life in prison.
The boycott movement supported by Turner and Chastain would particularly impact Georgia, which has become the third-largest film production state in the country and brought in some $2.7 billion in direct revenue through the film industry last year. Along with three other states, including Alabama, Georgia has recently passed a law protecting unborn children from abortion when a heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as six weeks into the pregnancy.
The pro-life state boycott movement is gaining momentum, with help from Netflix, Disney, NBCUniversal, CBS, Showtime, and WarnerMedia, who have all threatened to take action against abortion-restricting states. But, like Turner, some of these companies are facing uncomfortable questions about their willingness to film in places with highly restrictive abortion laws.
As The Daily Wire reports, Netflix is particularly getting hammered: “The very same week that Netflix threatened Georgia, the company began working on its third Arabic original, titled ‘Paranormal,’ which will, of course, be produced in Egypt. … As many as three Netflix original series are shot in the Middle East, two of which are produced in Jordan – ‘Jinn’ and ‘Al Rawabi School for Girls.'” Jordan (where parts of “Aladdin” were filmed) restricts abortion in nearly all cases except when the life or mental health of the mother is at risk; those who violate the law face imprisonment. Egypt likewise bans abortion in nearly all cases.
This article has been expanded to include more information about Northern Ireland’s abortion laws.