Disney Threatens to Leave Georgia Over ‘Heartbeat Bill’

    Photo Credit: WTHR

    Georgia Atlanta may be set to bear the brunt of the critical anti-abortion law the state has recently signed into law. Earlier in May, Brian Kemp, the state Governor signed the bill into law to prevent the abortion of a baby whose fetal heartbeat can be read. The state is the fourth to sign such bill into law following Alabama, Missouri and Ohio and it has since been met by widespread protest and demonstrations. While the government might not be intent on taking that serious, matters seems to have taken a turn for the worse.

    Disney studios CEO on Thursday threatened that the media giant might have to pull out of the state due to the legislation. This is coming after Netflix chief content Officer, Ted Sarandos earlier declared that the streaming service would consider pulling movies and TV productions filmed in Georgia off its platform if the state proceeds with the implementation of the controversial bill. While he admits that ongoing filming of contents would proceed as scheduled, the streaming service will have to reconsider its stance on the state should implementation proceed.

    Walt Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger while speaking to Reuters at the Disney Park in California admitted that the Film and TV studios owned by the company may be forced to move out of Georgia should the law become binding. He said it would be very difficult to remain in the state in the face of such a legislation. “Many people who work for us will not want to work there and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard.” He said. He added that the company is watching the situation closely as this will determine the line of action it will toe in the nearest future.

    Several divisions in the Disney conglomerate have deep ties with Georgia; Marvel studios have filmed several series and movies in the state, this includes the critically acclaimed Black panther and Avengers: Endgame. Disney is not alone when it comes to filming using locations in Georgia, the state is one of the world’s top location for film and TV productions. This is due in part to tax breaks and other concessions that film makers enjoy in the state. Most of the policies were endorsed by the former Governor, Nathan Deal.

    While talks are still ongoing, some media powerhouses have started taking action. Amazon’s sponsored series, the power is the first TV series to leave the state as a result of the legislation. Several film makers are opinionated and outspoken about the issue and this may have prompted the measured approach that the media companies are taking as regards the issue. With a lot of other media giants now towing Disney’s line, it is only a matter of time before the full impact of this legislation reflects on the economy of the state. While other states where the bill is in force have seen protests and demonstrations, Georgia’s case seems to be a different ballgame.



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