Jul 8, 2022 - News

Film project skips town after Roe ruling

Illustration of picket signs shaped like film slates.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

A movie slated to start filming in Arkansas this week has relocated because of the state's abortion ban.

Driving the news: The production of "Eric Larue" directed by actor Michael Shannon has moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, according to a news release from the producer to Arkansas' film commissioner.

Why it matters: Restrictive reproductive health care policies may be a tipping point for companies choosing to do business with, or in, certain states.

  • By reducing labor force participation and earnings among women, Arkansas' near total abortion ban will cost the state $1.2 billion per year, one estimate says.

Yes, and: The Motion Picture Association estimates the film and television industry is responsible for about $150 million in wages and 2,600 jobs in Arkansas.

Details: Arkansas Economic Development Commission, which oversees the state Film Commission, won't disclose the number of film projects currently underway.

  • But a spokesperson told Axios via email there are "several ongoing film projects in the state, and there are several more planned to begin shooting later this year."

Flashback: Season 3 of "True Detective," "Mud," and "Sling Blade" were all filmed in Arkansas.

What they're saying: "To our knowledge, no other filmmakers with ongoing projects or planned projects have expressed intention to withdraw due to Arkansas’ trigger law," the commission’s spokesperson wrote.

  • "Likewise, we are not aware of any businesses in any other industries in the state that have withdrawn planned projects or ongoing projects in response to Arkansas trigger law," they added.

Go deeper: Economists rush to understand the post-Roe world


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