If Georgia, one of the southeastern regions of the United States, legalizes the controversial abortion bill, the grand old Hollywood movie studio, Walt Disney, will leave the state as a production hub.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger confirmed this to news agency Reuters.
Speaking at Disney’s theme park in Anaheim, California, Iger said it would be “very difficult” for the Mouse House to remain in face of the legislation. The bill seeks to ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
“I rather doubt we will,” he continued. “I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now we are watching it very carefully.”
Disney’s Marvel division has deep ties in the state that produced American civil rights activists like Martin Luther King, Jr.. Marvel’s films like Black Panther has been shot there along with four different Marvel TV series, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Anthony Mackie, are expected to roll there.
After Netflix pulled the plug, Disney becomes only the second Hollywood company with interest in the state to speak out.
Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos told Variety that the company would “rethink” its similarly extensive investment in the state should the bill signed by Georgian Governor Brian Kemp pass.
Meanwhile others are waiting and hoping that the bill get struck down by higher courts.
Georgia offers 30% production tax incentive which makes it a veritable Southern offshoot of Los Angeles, making shooting films easier and profitable for studios.
Protest against the abortion bill are going on ground and across various social media channels as seven other states-including Alabama, Missouri and Ohio — also adopt anti-abortion laws.
Many several high profile filmmakers have donated their salaries to the ACLU( American Civil Liberties Union) and local activist groups combating the legislation, while keeping their productions in Georgia.
Calls for a flat-out boycott also continue to gain traction in the American film industry.
The Heartbeat or fetal heartbeat bill, as it is popularly called is a controversial form of abortion restriction legislation in the United States which makes abortion illegal as soon as the embryonic or fetal heartbeat can be detected.
In 2013, North Dakota became the first state to pass a heartbeat law.