Georgia continues to find itself in the spotlight due to its anti-abortion law now that Netflix and other major Hollywood giants have publicly spoken out. Netflix, Disney, NBCUniversal and others have made it clear that if the law were to go into effect, it would be very difficult for them to continue filming there. If other companies choose to add their voice to the opposition and follow suit, the effects of their withdrawal from Georgia may ripple across the peach state’s economy.
Georgia’s fetal heartbeat bill was signed into law on May 7th and is slated to go into effect on January 2020. Like many other similar pieces of legislation that have proliferated across the country, it aims to ban most abortions once a heartbeat can be detected through “standard medical practice”. While the law itself doesn’t mention a specific gestational time limit, its vague language has led abortion-rights activists to worry that these bills are aiming to ban abortions as early as six weeks.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, mentioned that should the law go into effect, they would have to “rethink our entire investment in Georgia”. The streaming behemoth is just one of many Hollywood studios that have production facilities in Georgia, and other major Hollywood players have begun to speak out too. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger said it would be “very difficult” for them to continue film in Georgia and NBCUniversal commented saying “it would strongly impact our decision-making on where we produce our content in the future.”
Other major production companies have begun to voice similar concerns. WarnerMedia, the parent company to HBO and CNN, said they would observe the situation and “reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions” depending on how the law unfolds.
Georgia has become an attractive location for Hollywood’s cinematographic projects over the past decade as the state began to offer generous tax credits of up to 20 percent to productions depending on their involvement in the state and another 10 percent for including the peach logo in their credits. Major films, such as “The Hunger Games” and “Black Panther”, as well as series such as “Stranger Things” and “Ozark” have been produced in the state.