Netflix threatens to leave Georgia if 'heartbeat' abortion ban goes into effect

The streaming service has pledged to fight ban before it can become law

Clark Mindock
New York
@ClarkMindock
Tuesday 28 May 2019 21:45
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Georgia makes billions of dollars from film and television productions
Georgia makes billions of dollars from film and television productions

Netflix plans on continuing to film in Georgia as controversy envelops the state over its six-week abortion ban, but says it will rethink its investment in the state if the bill actually goes into effect.

The movie and television streaming service announced those intentions in a statement, making the company the first major Hollywood film production house to speak up in the aftermath of the so-called “heartbeat” abortion bill, which would criminalize the procedure and potentially send physicians to prison.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, said in a statement to CNBC.

“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 investment in Georgia.”

Georgia is a prime location for filming movies and television shows, even if the best known face of the movie industry is in southern California. Georgia has made attracted film crews to the scene by offering attractive state tax incentives.

The industry is a major boon to the state, too, and produced some $4.5bn in wages last year, and more than $9bn added to the economy last year total.

Projects filmed in the state have included “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War”. Netflix, specifically, has filmed its show “Queer Eye” in Georgia.

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