A new HBO series that was set to be filmed in Texas is now being pulled from filming on-location after the show creator came out against the state’s new pro-life law, CNN reports.
The creator of the new series, David Simon, issued a statement on Twitter claiming that abortion is “beyond politics,” and that he “can’t and won’t ask female cast/crew to forgo civil liberties to film there.” He then asked his followers “what else looks like Dallas/Ft. Worth?” The series is allegedly a non-fiction series based on historical events in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.
Simon wrote another Tweet on the matter in response to a follower who criticized his decision, calling the user “blissfully unaware that this is not a political decision for us.” He then reaffirmed his belief that the right to abort a baby is a “civil liberty,” and that he “can’t ethically ask any female cast/crew to relocate to any state that requires them to forgo civil liberties. The end.”
Simon’s decision was criticized further by the Dallas Film and Creative Industries Office, which pointed out that “laws of a state are not reflective of its entire population,” and that “not bringing a production to Dallas…only serves to further disenfranchise those that live here.”
But Simon doubled down even further on his decision, while backtracking and claiming that his decision was “not rooted in any debate about political efficacy or the utility of any boycott…if even one of our employees requires full control of her own body and choices, and if a law denies this or further criminalizes our attempt to help her exercise that control, we should have filmed elsewhere.”
The law in question is the Heartbeat Act, which was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) in May of this year and went into effect on September 1st. The law, one of the strongest pro-life laws in the nation, bans abortions after six weeks, which is right around the time a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Although the law has faced steep criticism from Democrats, celebrities, and the media, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the law by a 5-4 vote. Despite this, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice, under the command of Attorney General Merrick Garland, is suing Texas to try to block the law once again.