This past weekend at the 4th annual Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch in Atlanta, Quality Control’s Coach K made a powerful assessment on Georgia’s economy post-Gov. Brian Kemp’s near-total abortion ban.
While the night was about successes in Black entertainment and tech, in an interview with Variety the label co-founder, whose real name is Kevin Lee, spoke about the recent anti-abortion laws affecting his hometown of Atlanta.
“It’s already started taking money and business away. A woman should have a right to do whatever she wants to do. I have a mom. I don’t have any girls, but it’s ridiculous. The film business that was creating all these jobs in Atlanta and in Georgia, they’re starting to bail out. They need to fix that.”
Both Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas — who helped found Quality Control — were there to receive awards for their contributions in music, fitting seeing that their label is home to some of hip-hop’s biggest names — Cardi B, Migos, City Girls Lil Yachty, and Lil Baby, just to name a few.
As a label head, Coach K’s insight goes beyond just music into the business world, as it has to. So if there’s anyone who has a stake in Atlanta’s economy and is watching its every move, it’s him. And he’s right, there has been a decrease in business — significantly so.
Since Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a near-total abortion ban into law in May, there have been three production companies said they will not film in Georgia, which is considered to be the top filming location in the world.
View this post on Instagram
According to the nonprofit Film LA, a 2016 study found that 17 of the top 100 movies from that same year were filmed in Georgia. TV shows like Stranger Things, Ozark, Greenleaf, Watchmen, The Outsider, and the popular series The Walking Dead also film in the state.
If you don’t know about the new Georgia law, The ban outlaws abortion at the time when a physician can first detect fetal cardiac activity, or as early as six weeks from the last menstrual period — which is before many women and gender minorities know they’re even pregnant. The law is slated to take effect in 2020.
But what really sets this law apart and what makes it so darn scary is that it includes embryos and fetuses as “natural persons” — potentially criminalizing pregnant people who have miscarriages or self-manage abortions.
Women across the country have shown outrage and voiced their disdain for the law and in result, businesses have been standing in solidarity.
Don’t give your business to Georgia. Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?
— Mark Duplass (@MarkDuplass) May 9, 2019
The Writers Guild, too, have long warned that Hollywood crews would leave the state over the abortion ban in back in March when the legislature considered passing the bill.
They told BuzzFeed News in May that they stand by its statement, adding that lawmakers are making the state “an inhospitable place for those in the film and television industry to work, including our members.”
It’s good to see Coach K use his platform to shed light on an issue affecting his community but it’s also sad to hear how the bill, already, has seeped so deep, that it’s now touching the music industry.