Disney’s CEO Bob Iger has threatened to stop production in Georgia if its controversial “fetal heartbeat” bill on abortion takes effect.
Georgia’s proposed abortion law has been met with staunch opposition since it was first put forward, with many high profile actors and producers coming out publicly to declare that they will no longer work in the state if it becomes law.
Many large production companies have remained publicly silent on the abortion law, but now Disney CEO Bob Iger has joined the list of influential people who have reconsidered their stance if the the controversial law goes into effect.
During an interview with Reuters, 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.”
If the law takes effect, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there,” he added.
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, without the exception of cases of rape and incest.
The new law would take effect on Jan. 1st, 2020.
Disney has filmed blockbuster movies in Georgia such as Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame, and it would be a huge blow to the state’s tax credit revenue if the entertainment giant stopped filming there.
Disney isn’t the first major brand to threaten to stop filming in the state either, after Netflix revealed it would rethink its investment in Georgia should the law go through.
Earlier this week, Netflix said it is contesting the law and will “rethink our entire investment“.
“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.
Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of the nonprofit group Women in Film, added:
“We support people who make the choice not to take their production to Georgia or take a job in Georgia because of the draconian anti-choice law.
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.”
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 and actor Jason Bateman has said he will refuse to work in the state if the bill is enacted.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter he said:
‘If the ‘heartbeat bill’ makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights.’
Images via Getty/Disney