Georgia abortion: WarnerMedia joins Disney and Netflix in considering options


A number of US media giants have publicly stated they will reconsider filming in Georgia if the state’s strict new abortion law takes effect.

Disney, Netflix and WarnerMedia have all objected to the legislation, which would ban abortion after a foetal heartbeat can be detected.

The so-called “heartbeat bill” has caused a furious backlash in Hollywood and led to calls for a boycott.

Georgia makes billions of dollars from film and television productions.

The state’s bill seeks to make abortion illegal as soon as a foetal heartbeat is detectable. In most cases, this is at the six-week mark of a pregnancy – before many women even know they are pregnant.

It is one of a number of states to pass abortion restrictions in the past year, but they are expected to face legal challenges.

What have the media firms said?

Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney says the law would make it “difficult” for the company to keep filming there.

Blockbusters like Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame, were recently shot in the state, due to its generous tax breaks for film productions.

However, Mr Iger said “many people who work for us will not want to work there” should the law go into effect.

“We will have to heed their wishes,” he told Reuters.

WarnerMedia meanwhile said it would reconsider Georgia “if the new law holds”, after Netflix announced on Tuesday it would “rethink” its productions in the state should the law take effect.

Getty Images. Jason Bateman and Kristen Wiig have both condemned the new law, which effectively bans abortion
Jason Bateman and Kristen Wiig have both condemned the new law, which effectively bans abortion

Earlier this week, Netflix said it would “rethink” its operations there with chief content officer Ted Sarandos explaining: “We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,”

He said the streaming giant would “work with the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] and others to fight it in court.”

What about the actors?

Meanwhile, stars including Amy Schumer, Ben Stiller, Christina Applegate, Laverne Cox and Alec Baldwin wrote to the governor saying they would “do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women”.

Comedy actress and writer Kristen Wiig also confirmed to CNN that her new comedy had pulled out of filming in the state while the executive producers of a new Amazon show The Power said it was no longer scouting for filming locations in Georgia because of the controversial bill.

Actor Jason Bateman, who stars in the Netflix show Ozark and in HBO’s The Outsider, which are both currently filming in Georgia, told The Hollywood Reporter: “I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights”.

“Right now we are watching it very carefully,” said Disney’s Bob Iger, adding he didn’t “see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”


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