Netflix has taken a vocal stance against the anti-abortion laws that could come into force in Georgia, after they were widely condemned.
State Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill on May 7 that would make abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected – sparking backlash from the likes of Kristen Wiig, Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano and Bridesmaids scribe Annie Mumolo – who were all due to start work on upcoming projects in the Southern state.
Netflix has now become the first major Hollywood studio to oppose the bill, after boss Ted Sarandos vowed to partner up with the American Civil Liberties Union in the legal fight against the bill.
The bill will not come into force until January next year, but Sarandos says that Netflix could boycott filming in the state if their legal challenge proves unsuccessful.
“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 in a statement.
BREAKING NEWS: Netflix will 'rethink their entire investment in Georgia' if state's controversial new 'heartbeat' law banning abortions after six weeks is upheld. The region – playfully coined 'Y'allywood' – is responsible for more than 92,100 jobs & nearly $4.6B in total wages.
— Dave Vescio (@DaveVescio) May 29, 2019
“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 will 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.”
Just over ten years ago, Georgia began offering tax incentives to productions that film in the state – attracting shoots for films such as The Hunger Games, Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War.
Netflix, meanwhile, has shot the likes of Stranger Things and Ozark in the state.
The bold stance comes after some of music’s most prominent figures decried the wave of anti-abortion laws in the US. Billie Eilish described it as “unbelievable”, while The 1975’s Matty Healy recently spoke out during a show in Alabama.