Padma Lakshmi defends 'Top Chef' filming in Texas despite 'heinous' abortion law

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·4 min read

Many Top Chef fans expressed disappointment over this week's announcement that the upcoming season will film in Texas as the state passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. Padma Lakshmi spoke out amid the outcry calling the bill "heinous," but defended production's decision to shoot in Houston for one main reason.

"Texans are up against so much right now- a hateful anti-abortion bill, erasure of voting rights, and a humanitarian & Constitutional crisis at the border. Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. Its govt & the majority of its ppl oppose @GovAbbott's heinous bills," the longtime Top Chef host tweeted on Wednesday. "Our show highlights the small businesses that hire the very same women, BIPOC ppl & low-income folks that these laws harm most."

Host Padma Lakshmi says Top Chef will still film in Texas despite backlash
Host Padma Lakshmi says Top Chef will still film in Texas despite backlash. (Photo by: Getty Images)

The author added that "she's continuing this fight" on the ground in Texas with local organizations.

It was announced on Tuesday Season 19 of the popular cooking competition show will film in Texas, with many viewers debating the "tone deaf" decision. 

The move is being compared to David Simon's announcement he will not shoot an upcoming HBO series in Texas as originally planned over the law. The Wire creator doubled down on his decision on Thursday despite some criticism saying his "boycott" is hurting people on the ground that need the work.

"Dead wrong. I am mute on any boycott. I am instead an employer and I personally must decide if it is ethical to ask employees to enter a jurisdiction which requires them to forgo THEIR civil liberties. It is not ethical for me to do so. Texas requires this forced move. Not me," he replied to one person.

Simon didn't stop there.

Many celebrities have spoken out against Gov. Abbott. In a powerful op-ed against the law on Tuesday, Uma Thurman shared she got an abortion after she was "accidentally impregnated by a much older man" while in her late teens.

"In revealing the hole that this decision carved in me, I hope that some light will shine through, reaching women and girls who might feel a shame that they can't protect themselves from and have no agency over," she penned for Washington Post. "I can assure you that no one finds herself on that table on purpose."