DISNEY has warned the entertainment giant could stop filming in Georgia if the US state’s controversial abortion bill becomes law.
Chief executive Bob Iger said it would be ‘very difficult’ for the company to remain if the so-called ‘heartbeat bill’, which outlaws terminations from as early as six weeks, comes into force.
‘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,’ he said. ‘Right now we are watching it very carefully.’
The Walt Disney Company, which owns the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, has shot some of its biggest blockbusters, including Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther, in Georgia. The state is called the ‘Hollywood of the South’ due to its favourable tax laws.
However, the bill has caused fury in the industry.
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos has also said it would ‘rethink our whole investment in Georgia’ if the abortion bill came into effect. ‘We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,’ he told Variety. ‘It’s why we will work with the American Civil Liberties Union 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.’
The bill, which bans abortions where a foetal heartbeat can be detected, is due to come into effect on January 1 next year, although campaigners have said they will challenge it in the courts.