Netflix threatens Georgia: "We’ll rethink our entire investment" if anti-abortion bill becomes law

New projects from Reed Morano and Kristen Wiig have already pulled out after Gov. Kemp signed the "Heartbeat Bill"

Published May 28, 2019 5:00PM (EDT)

Netflix (AP)
Netflix (AP)

This article originally appeared on IndieWire.

While the majority of Hollywood studios have remained quiet on Georgia’s “Heartbeat Bill,” Ted Sarandos is now threatening to pull Netflix’s multi-million dollar operations in the state should the anti-abortion bill become law. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the controversial bill May 7, effectively outlawing abortions after six weeks (or once a doctor can detect a fetus’ heartbeat) beginning in the state in January 2020. Netflix uses Georgia as a production site for numerous original projects, including series such as “Insatiable” and “Ozark,” but that might not last forever should the bill become law next year.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Sarandos said in statement, first published by Variety. “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.”

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Two Hollywood productions have already pulled out of Georgia following Kemp’s signing of the bill. Filmmaker Reed Morano announced earlier this month she would not be shooting her upcoming Amazon series “The Power” in the state, writing on social media, “We had no problem stopping the entire process instantly. There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there. It feels wrong for a reason. 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.”

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Kristin Wiig and her “Bridesmaids” creative partner Annie Mumolo similarly pulled their new comedy, “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” from filming in Georgia. While other creatives such as Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams’ have yet to pull out of filming in Georgia, the two men announced they would be donating ” 100% of [their] respective episodic fees” on their currently-in-production HBO series “Lovecraft County” to charities such as the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Right Georgia. Industry figures such as actress Alyssa Milano, film producer Christine Vachon, and television writer and creator David Simon have all called for a boycott of the state as well.

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By Zack Sharf

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