Texas Governor Greg Abbott just signed into law an abortion ban known as the "fetal heartbeat bill" effectively making it impossible for anyone seeking access to an abortion. Since then, there's been outrage across the country over the controversial law even President Biden has called unconstitutional.
However, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi is defending the decision to film in Texas in a Twitter thread.
Texans are up against so much right now- a hateful anti-abortion bill, erasure of voting rights, and a humanitarian… https://t.co/hgxpe9CiFK— Padma Lakshmi (@Padma Lakshmi) 1632355570.0
Our show highlights the small businesses that hire the very same women, BIPOC ppl & low-income folks that these law… https://t.co/jBg8ydwqAx— Padma Lakshmi (@Padma Lakshmi) 1632355570.0
I’m continuing this fight here on the ground with local branches of @PPACT, @AbortionFunds & @ACLU. Help Texans d… https://t.co/dnGhzC2mGu— Padma Lakshmi (@Padma Lakshmi) 1632355828.0
@MonmouthPoll: only 11% of Americans say abortion should always be illegal 24% say it should be illegal except for… https://t.co/NmEkKvSOEZ— Padma Lakshmi (@Padma Lakshmi) 1632356204.0
Though, her tweets beg the question of what are the different ways activists, corporate entities, hollywood stars and citizens can fight for their rights.
Fans from Texas were happy to see her sticking with the state.
@PadmaLakshmi @GovAbbott As a native Texan and Houstonian, thank you for recognizing the distinction between our Go… https://t.co/936DPQXVaB— eweytx (@eweytx) 1632356604.0
@PadmaLakshmi @GovAbbott Thank you Padma! We appreciate your supporting Houston despite the horrible abortion law a… https://t.co/Hy1H7aO3lj— Emily Harvin (@Emily Harvin) 1632356709.0
@PadmaLakshmi @GovAbbott Thanks Padma! Please use the show to spotlight some of the injustices of Texas coupled wi… https://t.co/QYg4wppNjA— KimberKat (@KimberKat) 1632361013.0
@PadmaLakshmi @GovAbbott As a Houstonian, I just have to say thank you! <3— Megan Lambert (@Megan Lambert) 1632485814.0
Not everyone felt as thankful for her choice to film in Texas still.
@PadmaLakshmi @GovAbbott I love you Padma, and Tom and the show. But this is a victory for abbott. He knows can get… https://t.co/ixFA5yVNCH— mike (@mike) 1632356584.0
@PadmaLakshmi Extremely disappointed to read that the new season of Top Chef is going to Houston. So surprised that… https://t.co/HSeCc4MTfg— Elizabeth Yarboro (@Elizabeth Yarboro) 1632367939.0
@PadmaLakshmi @GovAbbott Houston doesn’t exist in a bubble. Hosting the show there inevitably brings revenue to Tex… https://t.co/r5KaD8a6pC— RG (@RG) 1632364876.0
@PadmaLakshmi @MonmouthPoll you know what would help even more? if @BravoTopChef pulled out of shooting in houston… https://t.co/NIoVYOKGO1— Outlaw Mama (@Outlaw Mama) 1632357042.0
Alexis McGill Johnson, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told Variety:
"Hollywood has the bully pulpit of culture and it has the economic pulpit impact of pulling out of the state and calling on companies that do business in the state to go elsewhere."
"Boycotting has a long and important history in achieving and sustaining rights for people."
"The one other important lever that Hollywood has is storytelling and its ability to dramatize the impact on people who can't access abortions."
"I'm 49 years old. I'm younger than Roe. I've never not known a time when I wasn't free to make decisions about my own body."
"It's important to tell rising generations the stories of what things were like pre-Roe and what things are like when laws like this go into place."
@PadmaLakshmi @GovAbbott Big fan but… This reads like a CYA statement and utterly contradicts your letter to Brian… https://t.co/T271ECoppJ— Drew Hilton (@Drew Hilton) 1632399005.0
Georgia has become a prominent state for the film industry. Back when this letter was sent, people were rallying to stop the Georgia State Governor Brian Kemp from passing H.B. 481, which is near identical to the Texas bill.
This letter read:
"As actors, our work often brings us to Georgia. We've always found your state to be populated with friend and caring people.
"We've found the hotels in which we stay and restaurants in which we dine wile filming there to be comfortable and of high quality."
"We've been glad to bring billions of dollars in revenue to support Georgia's schools, parks and communities."
"But we cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia if H.B. 481 becomes law."
The contradictory statements from Lakshmi make it seem she might be insincere in her convictions when her own career is involved.
Season 19 of Top Chef, which is already filming in Texas, will air in 2022.