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Studios Vowed to ‘Rethink’ Filming in Georgia if Abortion Ban Was Upheld. Now What?


The major entertainment studios spoke out against Georgia’s “heartbeat” abortion bill in 2019, saying they would “rethink” their production plans in the state if the law ever went into effect.

That moment appears to be approaching fast.

On Monday night, Politico reported that a Supreme Court majority has signed on to a decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 opinion protecting the right to abortion. The Georgia law — which would outlaw abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy — has been on hold pending the outcome of that case. If the leaked draft opinion becomes final, then Georgia’s law would be allowed to take effect.

So far, no entertainment studio has said what it will do if that happens. Warner Bros. Discovery and Sony declined to comment. A Netflix representative could not be reached for comment. A Disney spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. The Motion Picture Association also declined to comment.

Georgia is a massive hub for TV and film production, thanks to a state subsidy that reached a record $1.2 billion last year. Several other states — including Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas and Ohio — also have significant film subsidies, and would also outlaw most abortions if Roe is overturned.

Over the last decade, the studios have gotten involved in a series of social issue controversies in conservative states, often spurred by their own employees. Most recently, Disney came out against Florida’s law regarding classroom instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity — which critics dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” — but only after employees protested.

Georgia passed its heartbeat bill in May 2019, one of a string of states that passed similar laws at the time. In response, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo relocated their film “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” out of Georgia. David Simon and Mark Duplass vowed not to film there, and Jason Bateman, star of the Netflix series “Ozark,” said he would no longer work in the state if the law went into effect.

The studios initially stayed quiet about the law, until Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos broke ranks.

See more at Variety.


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