Sharon Stone Halts Film Production In Mississippi, Refuses To Work Under Anti-LGBT Laws

The actress said working in the state is "not an option."

Production on a major upcoming Hollywood film will move from Mississippi after its star actress, Sharon Stone, reportedly refused to work in a state with anti-LGBT legislation on the books.

“Unfortunately, Sharon Stone feels strongly that shooting in Mississippi is not an option while the law exists,” said Mississippi Film Studios president Rick Moore, referencing a new anti-trans law that prohibits transgender people from using gendered restrooms that do not match their gender assigned at birth.

“The other producers have chosen to regroup and find another location.”

The Mississippi and North Carolina governments have felt pressure from stars and corporations in the last month to consider repealing their new “religious liberty” laws, which critics argue are thinly-veiled attempts to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community.

Last month, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a similar bill after 38 Hollywood A-listers signed an open letter threatening to take their multi-billion dollar industry elsewhere if it passed.

While Moore said it’s too early to tell what long-term effects the new legislation will have on Mississippi, he said he’s already noticed an “immediate shift in conversation” about future production in the state.

“HB 1523 has stirred many passionate opinions, which has unfortunately slowed the momentum of the film industry,” he said. “The incentive is still strong to shoot in Mississippi, so I expect independent productions without A-list talent will still consider it an option.”

This week, major corporations including Netflix and Univision signed an open letter from GLAAD, urging legislators to halt similar anti-LGBT bills wherever they may crop up.

“The results of such laws taking effect across the nation makes it difficult to attract and retain workers, grow local and state economies, and bring top talent to schools and universities – all of which our communities depend on for sustainability,” the letter reads in part. “Finally, it undermines the core values of the companies we represent and those of a majority of this nation’s most successful and profitable businesses.”

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett