Netflix will 'rethink' Georgia shoots if abortion law holds

Carla Harmon
May 29, 2019

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement that the streaming giant will work with the American Civil Liberties Union and others to fight the law in court.

Legislation to restrict abortion rights has been introduced in 16 states this year, four of whose governors have signed bills banning abortion if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.

In Georgia, a major USA production hub for TV and film, Netflix said it would consider pulling its productions from the state if the so-called "heartbeat bill" that was signed into law in May goes into effect.

Kemp had been scheduled to last week visit Los Angeles to promote Georgia's film industry, a trip that was delayed amid backlash to the law.

Cable TV network Starz has also made what might be considered a glancing response to the abortion law in Georgia by announcing a donation to pro-abortion groups while airing its series, P-Valley, which was filmed in the Peach State.

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.

"We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law", Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. Most Hollywood studios and platforms have not commented on their plans. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we will continue to film there - while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to.

Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of the nonprofit group Women in Film, said she supports filmmakers who chose not to work in the state for political reasons.

"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", she added.

Netflix's move comes as other production companies, actors, and actresses are reconsidering using Georgia for productions.

National Basketball Association legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently called for boycotts of states that have enacted pro-life legislation in recent weeks, while Kristen Wiig and director Reed Morano both relocated projects that were originally slated to film in the Peach State.

The bill is expected to face legal challenges, with a similar bill in MS recently struck down in court.

Other reports by iNewsToday