Disney CEO Bob Iger said Wednesday that the company may have to stop producing movies and TV shows in Georgia over the state’s controversial abortion ban, Reuters reports. He claims that many of the people who work for and with the company will refuse to work in that state, and Disney will have no choice but to respect their wishes.
Georgia recently passed an intensely controversial abortion bill, which bans the procedure after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Since a fetal heartbeat can be detected at about six weeks, and since many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant until after the sixth week, the law — and others like it passed in other states in recent weeks — effectively bans almost all abortions.
That has caused problems for Georgia’s nascent film and TV production industries. The Peach State has offered generous tax incentives for productions that film in that state, and indeed, many of the TV shows and movies you’ve seen recently have been fully, or at least partially, filmed there.
However, now that the abortion law has passed, several actors, producers, directors, and technical workers have said that they’ll no longer work in Georgia. For example, Alyssa Milano, who stars on Netflix’ Insatiable, which is filmed in Georgia, is calling for the entire industry to boycott the state over its abortion law.
Although the Walt Disney Company has not given any real indication one way or the other about whether or not it intends to keep producing in Georgia, Iger told reporters Wednesday that it will be difficult for the company continuing to do so if the planned boycotts go through.
“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…. If the law takes effect, I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there,” he said.
Some of the projects Disney has recently produced in Georgia include Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame.
It’s not just Disney that’s been put into this position. As CNN reported on Tuesday, Netflix, which produces the aforementioned Insatiable there, among other projects, is giving serious thought to leaving Georgia. In Netflix’ case, however, it’s a company-wide decision based on the law itself, and not a practical decision having to do with the difficulty of finding actors and crew willing to work there.
“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.