American Film Institute's 47th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute To Denzel Washington - Arrivals

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 06: Spike Lee attends the American Film Institute's 47th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute To Denzel Washington at Dolby Theatre on June 6, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Director Spike Lee is calling for Hollywood production companies to leave Georgia over a law that would ban abortions as early as six weeks, upon detection of a fetal heartbeat.

Most studios that have commented have said they're waiting to see if the so-called "heartbeat" law actually takes effect next year, or if the courts will block it. But at the arrivals line for Denzel Washington's American Film Institute lifetime achievement tribute Thursday, Lee said now is the time for Georgia-based productions to "shut it down" and boycott the state's booming film industry to drive change.

Lee acknowledged that a mass exodus could dent livelihoods, but cited black bus drivers affected by the Civil Rights Movement-era boycott in Montgomery.

"I know it's going to affect people's livelihood. But that's how things change," Lee said.

"You've got to be on the right side of history, and the state of Georgia and those other states, they're wrong," he added.

Georgia's economy currently gets a $9.5 billion annual boost from the industry.

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