Netflix is the first studio to make a public statement regarding Georgia’s newly passed pro-life heartbeat bill. They indicated they will not only work with the ACLU to challenge the bill in court, but threatened to “rethink” their “entire investment in Georgia” if the bill is implemented.
Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, told Variety:
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law. 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.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia pro-life heartbeat bill, H.B. 481, into law earlier this month. The law bans abortions when the heartbeat of a child is detected in the womb.
The law was opposed by Alyssa Milano and dozens of celebrities who signed their names onto a letter calling for the Hollywood film industry to boycott the entire state of Georgia if the bill was signed into law. Those who signed the call for a boycott include Patton Oswalt, Christina Applegate, Alec Baldwin, Tara Strong, Wil Wheaton, Sean Penn, Piper Perabo, Minnie Driver, Jon Cryer, Don Cheadle, Greg Grunberg, Ben Stiller, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, and more.
Milano’s letter calling for the boycott decried the law describing it as “evil.” Milano’s letter stated, “We can’t imagine being elected officials who had to say to their constituents ‘I enacted a law that was so evil, it chased billions of dollars out of our state’s economy.'”
The Writers Guild of America also opposed the bill stating:
“This draconian anti-choice law would discourage people in our industry from working in Georgia and could harm the state’s vibrant film and television industry.”
Following the bill being signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, The Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano announced her upcoming Amazon Studios show The Power. According to Variety, Morano wrote on Instagram, “It feels wrong for a reason.” She added, “And it felt wrong to us to go ahead and make our show and take money/tax credit from a state that is taking this stance on the abortion issue. We just couldn’t do it.”
Morano’s announcement came after Wonder Women 1984 actress Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo announced their upcoming Lionsgate comedy, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, would no longer film in Georgia.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams and Get Out director Jordan Peele announced they will continue to shoot their HBO horror drama Lovecraft Country in Georgia, but will donate their producer fees to the ACLU and Fair Fight Georgia, two groups that plan on fighting the bill. Abrams and Peele described the bill as an “unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms. Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women.”
Milano, who originally spearheaded the boycott campaign, would go on to call for a sex strike following the bill being signed by the governor.
Former superman actor Dean Cain described Milano’s tactics as bullying. Cain specifically noted, “Whether or not you agree with the bill or not, to come in and try to bully somebody, a state into your position is just absolutely wrong.”
Actor Stephen Baldwin also called out his own brother for supporting the boycott of Georgia. He described his brother’s actions as the “spirit of hate.”
The Georgia Heartbeat Law will go into effect on January 1, 2020.