NEWS
29/05/2019 15:45 BST

Netflix To 'Rethink' Investments In Georgia If New Abortion Law Goes Ahead

The streaming industry is responsible for more than 92,000 jobs in the state.

Netflix has said it will “rethink” its investments in Georgia if a new law severely restricting abortion in the state is implemented.

The streaming service said many of its staff would be affected by the legislation which would ban terminations once cardiac activity is detected in an embryo, typically around six weeks and often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said the company would work with groups fighting the law through the US courts but would continue operations for the time being, Reuters reports.

The company was the first major Hollywood producer to publicly comment on calls by some for an industry boycott of Georgia.

The entertainment industry is responsible for more than 92,000 jobs in Georgia, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and some 455 film and TV shows were shot in the state in 2018, according to then-governor Nathan Deal.

Sarandos said in a statement: ”... we will work with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) 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 is one of eight states to pass anti-abortion legislation this year seeking to induce the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 landmark case that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

The Georgia law comes into effect on 1 January. 

Calls by some in Hollywood for a boycott of Georgia have so far failed to gain widespread support, with most studios and platforms remaining silent.

That contrasts with a boycott of North Carolina over its transgender bathroom law that was supported by businesses, sports leagues and celebrities like Bruce Springsteen and led to the repeal of the law in 2017.

A number of producers and actors have said they will donate money to local groups fighting the abortion law, rather than boycott and cause people in Georgia to lose work.

However the makers of an upcoming comedy starring Kristen Wiig decided last week not to shoot in Georgia.

While work on “Ozark” season three began in Georgia earlier this month, star and executive producer Jason Bateman said that if the abortion bill became law he would not work in Georgia.

According to the Georgia film office website on Monday, 38 movies or TV shows are currently in production in the state. Past productions include the TV series The Walking Dead and scenes from the 2018 superhero movie Black Panther.