Disney, Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBCUniversal, and WarnerMedia have officially followed in the path of Netflix and are threatening to pull their productions from the state of Georgia, which earns billions annually from the film and television industry. This follows the passing of a controversial bill that outlaws abortions after six weeks. Unless the bill is vetoed, the state could watch as its lucrative entertainment income disappear the way it did in North Carolina, where a discriminatory law targetting the transgender was passed.
While a few projects have actually already pulled out of shooting in Georgia, these major corporations are, for the time being, simply monitoring the situation in order to determine the best course of action.
Disney’s Bob Iger (above), stated:
“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. [I don’t] see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”
Among the Disney projects that have filmed in Georgia (and thus generated many jobs) are ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’.
In a statement, WarnerMedia announced:
“We operate and produce work in many states and within several countries at any given time, and while that doesn’t mean we agree with every position taken by a state or country and their leaders, we do respect due process. We will watch the situation closely, and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions. As is always the case, we will work closely with our production partners and talent to determine how and where to shoot any given project.”
WarnerMedia is currently shooting ‘The Conjuring 3’ in the state, with plans to film ‘The Suicide Squad’ there as well. HBO’s ‘Lovecraft Country’ will film there, with its producers J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele vowing to donate their episodic fees to the fight against the abortion law.
Here are some other announcements.
“We fully expect that the heartbeat bills and similar laws in various states will face serious legal challenges and will not go into effect while the process proceeds in court. If any of these laws are upheld, it would strongly impact our decision-making on where we produce our content in the future.”
AMC (whose ‘The Walking Dead’ supports an entire town in Georgia):
“If this highly restrictive legislation goes into effect, we will reevaluate our activity in Georgia. Similar bills — some even more restrictive — have passed in multiple states and have been challenged. This is likely to be a long and complicated fight and we are watching it all very closely.”
“As the MPAA has noted, the outcome of the Georgia ‘Heartbeat Law,’ and similar proposed legislation in other states, will be determined through the legal process. We will continue to monitor that process in close consultation with our filmmakers and television showrunners, talent and other stakeholders as we consider our future production options.”
“Creative voices across our industry have expressed strong concern about the recently signed bill in Georgia. The ability to attract the best talent is the first step in producing great entertainment content and is always an important consideration in where we film any series. We are monitoring the legislative and legal developments in Georgia with the full expectation that the process in the courts will play out for some time. For now, we will continue producing our series based there that have production orders for next season. If the law takes effect in Georgia or elsewhere, these may not be viable locations for our future production.”
“We are closely monitoring the situation in Georgia and expect the legislation will be subject to significant legal challenges. Should the new law ever take effect, we will assess whether we will continue to produce projects in Georgia.”
“As many of you know, when Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the HB 481 ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill into law on May 7th, STX was in pre-production on the film Greenland in Atlanta, GA. While the bill has not yet come into effect, we do not believe it represents the will of the people in Georgia. After thoughtful consideration about how best to move forward, we feel that relocating production would penalize the hundreds of talented crew members who would abruptly be out of jobs. In an effort to aid those on the ground fighting to reverse this legislation, STX will be making a donation to the ACLU of Georgia. Should HB 481 ever officially come into effect, we will reassess filming any future projects in the state.”
The “heartbeat bill” was enacted three weeks ago, so many feel that Hollywood has been late to react. Among the quickest to react were Killer Films (‘Vox Lux’), Blown Deadline Productions, Duplass Brothers Productions, Color Force, and CounterNarrative Films, as well as many individual celebrities.
Appearing on MSNBC, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said:
“While I support those who want to live their values by not bringing their resources here, I do not want to harm the citizens of Georgia who are doing this work.”
The fact that Georgia is one of the United States makes this situation higher in profile, as nearly every company in the world in any form of business (or even the government) picks and chooses where to conduct their business, avoiding countries or territories where that they feel don’t live up to their standards and values, or at least penalizing them in some way, as seen with the recent tariffs placed on goods from Mexico and China.
We will continue to “closely monitor” this situation, so check back for any updates.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter