‘Many people who work for us will not want to work there…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger said that if Georgia’s recently-passed “heartbeat bill” goes into effect next year, it would be “very difficult” for the mega-media company to continue filming in the state.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a pro-life bill earlier this month that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually occurs around six weeks.
It will go into effect in January of next year, but several entertainment companies have vowed to boycott the state if it’s not overturned before then.
When asked if Disney would keep filming in the state, Iger said, “I rather doubt we will,” he told Reuters. “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. 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.
Disney is one of the foremost entertainment companies in the state and has shot several high-profile films there, including Avengers: Endgame, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, and Black Panther.
Georgia offers a tax credit that has lured several film and TV production companies into the state.
The entertainment industry generated more than $60 billion in revenue for the state last year, according to Kemp, and is responsible for more than 200,000 jobs.
Netflix has also said it would “rethink” its projects in the state if the pro-life law takes effect.
In the meantime, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos told Vanity Fair it will continue working in the state “while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to.”
“Should it ever come into effect,” Sarandos said of the law, “we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
Several insignificant Indie film companies have already began pulling their business from the state, including Duplass Brothers, Killer Films, and Blown Deadline Productions.
Regardless, Kemp said he won’t be bullied by Hollywood elites.
“I can’t govern because I’m worried about what someone in Hollywood thinks about me,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I ran the last two years on these issues, and I got elected with the largest number of votes in the history of the state of Georgia, and I’m doing what I told people I would do.”