ATLANTA — As Democrat Stacey Abrams lobbies Hollywood on behalf of Georgia's film industry, Republicans are watching from afar with a mixture of cynicism and cautious hope.
"I do agree with one very small part of her message, which is—stay," said Lane Flynn, chairman of the DeKalb County Republican Party.
Flynn is less than impressed with the Abrams mission. He views it as partisan self-promotion from a failed politician -- on behalf of a film industry that he thinks isn’t going anywhere anyway.
Filmmakers collect a sizable state tax credit when they produce movies in Georgia, making the state one of the top sites in the USA for film making.
"I don’t think in the long run they’re going to want to change that regardless of what Stacey Abrams may or may not say," Flynn said.
Georgia Republican state chairman David Shafer was more pointed. “She is not the governor but Hollywood is the perfect place for her to pretend to be one,” Shafer wrote in a text to 11Alive News.
Georgia film workers have been nervous over blow back from filmmakers over Georgia’s heartbeat law—and their threats to leave the state if the law takes effect.
Karen Ceesay is a Georgia actor who says she also worked for Abrams in last year’s election. She’s rooting for Abrams to defend Georgia as a place to shoot movies – even if it enacts a law Hollywood resists.
"She’s used to working both sides of the argument and we need to see it more as- it’s not a red - blue issue. It’s a work or not-work issue." Ceesay said.
Abrams' meetings in Hollywood to keep that industry booming in Georgia are scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. The media won't be allowed inside but 11Alive's Faith Abubey has secured a 1-on-1 interview with the former minority leader as soon as it's over.
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