Clint Eastwood remains the most daring conservative in Hollywood. The now 89-year-old star of cinema classics like The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and Dirty Harry is still going strong as he’s preparing to film his latest feature Richard Jewell. In an unsurprising buck against Hollywood’s current hissy fit over the recent anti-abortion laws passed in Georgia, the legendary director has decided to shoot his new film there.

Back in May Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp signed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act into law and made abortions after five weeks illegal in the state.

In protest, almost every major production company in Hollywood including Netflix, Disney, Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia publicly threatened to pull productions from the state and which would put hundreds of thousands of people in the state’s film industry out of work.

It’s important to note that Georgia is the third largest filmmaking market in the United States. Hollywood, CA used to be the preferred place to shoot films in the United States due to good weather and accumulation of talent and money in Los Angeles.

Since Georgia’s 2008 installation of a series of tax incentives to benefit film production, it has become much cheaper for studios to fly actors across the country to shoot in Georgia where the production companies get massive tax breaks to shoot there with local crews.

Hollywood’s move to boycott Georgia as a whole is a cynical, partisan attempt to force Georgia to change their mind on the heartbeat bill. As we blogged when the studios first began pulling out support last month, Hollywood seems to be quite selective in regards to which countries they’re willing to back out of business deal with on moral grounds.

From Legal Insurrection:

For example, the Daily Caller notes that Disney is threatening Georgia over its abortion law but still partners with China (which is currently holding Muslims in detention camps).

The Walt Disney Company is considering boycotting Georgia over its new abortion law, even as Disney profits from doing business in China, a notorious human rights violator that is putting Muslims in internment camps.

Disney CEO Bob Iger told Reuters on Thursday the company is likely to cease filming in Georgia if the pro-life law takes effect. . . .

Meanwhile, the Daily Caller also notes in another article, Netflix is continuing production in Egypt, where abortion is illegal in almost all cases, and in Jordan, where it is severely restricted.

Netflix plans to step up production in the Middle East, notably Jordan and Egypt, where abortion is illegal, after mulling a company boycott in Georgia on account of the “heartbeat” abortion bill.

Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, stated, Tuesday, that the company would “rethink” its Georgia investments if the “heartbeat” abortion bill takes effect.

Netflix’s expressed reluctance to produce content in regions with strong anti-abortion laws seemingly does not extend to the Middle East, where recently the company has been ramping up the number of undertaken projects, according to Variety.

As reported by The Wrap, when asked about why Eastwood’s newest film would be filmed this summer in Georgia, a representative from Warner Brothers released the following statement:

“We have made the decision to tell this compelling story — based on real people and events — in the locations where it actually took place, which is in and around Atlanta. As is always the case, we worked closely with our production partners to determine how and where to shoot this film, in order to best reflect authenticity in the storytelling.”

It’s not totally clear if the decision was made by Clint Eastwood personally or if the studio is merely covering for the fact that it would be too expensive for the studio to do more location scouting as the film is going into production.

As it stands, several films and TV shows like The Conjuring 3 which are currently in production are going to complete principal photography in Georgia in spite of the boycott. Clearly Hollywood doesn’t want to change their production schedules or shoot in more expensive states, so it’s quite possible that Hollywood could just be putting up the boycotts as a show.

If this is Eastwood’s intention though (one that clearly lines up with the goals of the Hollywood bean counters wanting to save money), it’s yet again another reminder of just how brave and powerful the aging conservative filmmaker remains after all these years.

 
 
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