Tiffany Haddish Cancels Comedy Show in Atlanta Over Abortion Ban

Comedian Tiffany Haddish postponed her June 22 show in Atlanta, Georgia because of the state’s controversial abortion law. The actress and comedian said in a statement to CNN on June 15 that she will not perform at the Fox Theatre because of Georgia’s heartbeat bill, also known as HB 481. The law bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, after a fetal heartbeat is detected, the law states.

"After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta. I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women and until they withdraw Measure HB 481, I cannot in good faith perform there," Haddish said in a statement to the news station. A spokesperson from Brave Publication Relations, which represents the Fox Theatre, told CNN that those who purchased tickets to the show will be given a refund. Haddish’s next show will take place at the Olympia Theater in Miami, Florida on June 20, according to her website.

In an interview with TMZ on June 17 following her decision to cancel her show in Georgia, the comedian and actress said it was not a tough decision.

“No that wasn’t tough at all. If I can’t have control of my body, and if no other woman can’t have control of her body, why would I perform there?” she told TMZ.

Haddish said she read the bill and found it offensive, calling the new piece of legislation “a new form of slavery.” The comedian and actress also said she grew up in the foster care system in California, where she was labeled “state property,” and said that in her childhood the state could “[determine] what I get to do with my body.”

“Now I’m a grown woman, I get to determine what I do with my body,” Haddish said in the emotional interview. Other celebrities have been outspoken about the bill, which was signed into law by state Governor Brian Kemp in May. Before Kemp signed the law, dozens of Hollywood actors signed a letter stating that they would no longer film in the state, Deadline previously reported.

“This dangerous and deeply-flawed bill mimics many others which have already been deemed unconstitutional,” the letter obtained by Deadline states. “As men who identify as small-government conservatives, we remind you that government is never bigger than when it is inside a woman’s body or in her doctor’s office. This bill would remove the possibility of women receiving reproductive healthcare before most even know they are pregnant and force many women to undergo unregulated, hidden procedures at great risk to their health.”The letter was signed by the actors Gabrielle Union, Uzo Aduba, Don Cheadle, Laverne Cox, Alyssa Milano, Amy Schumer, Javier Muñoz, Alec Baldwin, Ben Stiller, and many others.

“We can’t imagine being elected officials who had to say to their constituents ‘I enacted a law that was so evil, it chased billions of dollars out of our state’s economy,’” the letter obtained by the publication read. “It’s not the most effective campaign slogan, but rest assured we’ll make it yours should it come to pass.” David Simon, creator of HBO’s show “The Wire,” tweeted back in May that he would “undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact.” “I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies,” he tweeted following the passing of the law. “I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact. Other filmmakers will see this.” The streaming service Netflix has also spoken out against the passing of the law. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said in a statement to Variety in May that the company is working alongside the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to fight the law in court.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Sarandos told the publication. “It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.