‘Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there—while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) At the same time Netflix is threatening to boycott Georgia over its recently passed pro-life law, the streaming company is stepping up its production in Middle Eastern countries, where abortion is completely banned.
The company announced it is filming three original shows in the Middle East—one in Egypt and two in Jordan.
In Egypt, abortion is punishable by imprisonment. And in Jordan, abortion is only legal under extreme medical circumstances.
Georgia’s law, known as a “heartbeat bill,” prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks into a pregnancy.
Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, told Variety that the company would have to “rethink” its relationship with the state if the law goes into effect next January.
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Sarandos said. “It’s why we will work with the ACLU 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 in Georgia.”
The company, though, is apparently disregarding the Middle East’s abortion restrictions in order to film its new show “Paranormal,” based on bestselling Arabic horror books by Egyptian author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik.
“We are excited to continue our investment in Middle Eastern productions by adapting the highly acclaimed ‘Paranormal’ novels into a thrilling new series,” Kelly Luegenbiehl, Netflix’s vice president of international originals, said in a statement.
Netflix is one of several production companies that have vowed to boycott Georgia if the pro-life legislation goes into effect. Disney, Warner Bros., and several smaller, independent film companies have all pledged to oppose the law.
The entertainment industry generated more than $60 billion in revenue for the state last year, according to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and is responsible for more than 200,000 jobs.