Disney could stop filming in Georgia if the near total ban on abortions goes into effect.
The so-called ‘heartbeat bill’ would effectively ban all abortions in the state from the moment a heartbeat can be detected in the fetus, without the exception of cases of rape and incest.
Now, Disney CEO Bob Iger has joined the long list of influential people who have reconsidered whether they wish to continue working in the state if the controversial law goes into effect.
When Iger was asked about the franchise’s plans to continue filming some of its biggest movies in Georgia, he told Reuters it ‘would be very difficult’ to carry on doing so.
I think many people who work for us would not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard.
Right now we are watching it very carefully.
Losing Disney could have a detrimental effect on Georgia’s tax credit revenue received from allowing studios to film in its locations. Disney has filmed some of its biggest Marvel films in the state, including Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
Disney isn’t the first major brand to threaten to stop filming in the southern state, after Netflix revealed it would rethink its investment in Georgia, should the law go through.
In a statement to Variety, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said:
We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law. 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.
Other companies and groups have already started boycotting Georgia and removing investment from the state.
Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of the nonprofit group Women in Film, said:
We support people who make the choice not to take their production to Georgia or take a job in Georgia because of the draconian anti-choice law.
To that end, we’ve compiled a list of pro-choice states that offer meaningful tax rebates and production incentives, and encourage everyone to explore these alternatives: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Washington.
Former president of the Producers Guild of America and CEO of Revelations Entertainment, Lori McCleary added:
It’s hard to wake up every day feeling like I’m growing up in my mother’s generation.
I don’t have anything that’s shooting in those locations, but I would give it a second thought in those states because I think it’s important for us to support [the protest].
Actor Jason Bateman has also stood up against the proposed law, insisting he will not work there if the abortion laws go ahead.
Bateman is currently filming for another series of Netflix’s Ozark and HBO’s The Outsider in Georgia.
Speaking to the The Hollywood Reporter, he said:
If the ‘heartbeat bill’ makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.