Iger says “very difficult” to film in GA if abortion law goes

Bob-Iger-Disney-Georgia

(courtesy: Marketwatch)

Yesterday on the Reel Chicago Facebook page, a user posted on a response to Netflix possibly pulling out of Georgia if the controversial abortion bill goes into effect.

The post read, “I don’t think we will hear from *Disney…”

Wrong.

 
Trades and news outlets are reporting that Disney CEO Bob Iger actually did weigh in on what has been dubbed, “The heartbeat bill.”

During an interview with Reuters yesterday, Iger said it would be “very difficult” for the media giant to continue filming in the state if the “fetal heartbeat” bill takes effect.

“I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard,” Iger told Reuters during a dedication for the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion at Disneyland. “Right now, we are watching it very carefully.”

The “fetal heartbeat” bill signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp earlier this month would make it illegal to receive an abortion once a heartbeat is detected in the womb, which happens around six weeks. The new law would take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

ALSO READ: Netflix productions mull leaving Georgia

On May 7, Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a a heartbeat bill that would essentially make abortion illegal if a fetal heartbeat is detected. The legislation does include exceptions to save the life of the mother or for rape or incest if the mother files a police report. It would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 unless it is blocked in the courts.

Georgia has served as a major destination for TV and movie productions because of tax breaks offered by the state. The state attracts movie shoots through a 20% base transferable tax credit. In 2018, the film industry supported a total of more than 92,000 local jobs in Georgia and $2.7 billion in direct spending, according to state officials.

Marvel’s Black Panther alone, which was among the 455 movie and TV projects filmed in Georgia in 2018, accounted for more than 3,000 workers. But the abortion law has studios and media companies reconsidering the relationship.

Yesterday Reel 360 reported that Netflix said is “rethink our entire investment” in Georgia is the bill is enacted.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement.

Meanwhile, two film productions — Lionsgate comedy Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar, starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, and Amazon series The Power — will relocate from Georgia because of the law.

Source: USA Today

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