Netflix says it will fight a controversial abortion law in Georgia and may “rethink” its operations there should the law go into effect.
The company’s statement on the law is a rare public stance from one of the industry’s heavyweights; major studios have thus far remained silent on the legislation, which would ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat — which can happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said Tuesday in a statement. “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.”
Thanks to generous state tax credits, Georgia has become a hub of film and TV production and employs some 90,000 people in the state. Since Gov. Brian Kemp signed the fetal-heartbeat bill on May 7, at least two productions — Amazon series The Power from Reed Morano, and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s Lionsgate feature Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar — have said they will relocate their productions. Producers including David Simon, Christine Vachon, Mark Duplass, Neal Dodson and Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson have also said they will steer clear of the state for future productions.
Others, including J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele (HBO’s Lovecraft Country) and Imagine’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (the Netflix film Hillbilly Elegy), have said they will continue filming in Georgia but make donations to groups fighting the law.
“We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia and will donate 100 percent of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organizations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia,” said Abrams. “We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations.”