Walt Disney Company may sever ties with the state of Georgia if the state’s controversial “heartbeat” abortion bill takes effect.
Speaking to Reuters on Wednesday, Bob Iger, the media company’s chief executive, said it would be “very difficult” for Disney to keep filming in the state if the law, which bans abortion after six weeks, is implemented.
“I rather doubt we will” continue filming in Georgia, Iger said in Anaheim ahead of the opening of a new “Star Wars” section in Disneyland. “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.”
Iger added the company, which has filmed such blockbuster films as “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame” in Georgia, was watching the situation “very carefully.”
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Disney CEO Bob Iger arrives at the premiere of “Avengers: Endgame” at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 22, 2019.
Dozens of actors and several filmmakers have already said they will not work in Georgia if the anti-abortion legislation is implemented. The bill, which was signed into law by Georgia’s Republican governor on May 7, will take effect on Jan. 1 if it survives its court challenges.
“If the ‘heartbeat bill’ makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights,” actor Jason Bateman, whose Netflix show “Ozark” and HBO show “The Outsider” are currently filming in Georgia, told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month.
Fifty actors, including Alyssa Milano, Ben Stiller, Amy Schumer and Don Cheadle, signed a letter vowing to not work in Georgia should the legislation kick in.
Several independent production companies have echoed this sentiment, including Duplass Brothers Productions, which produced the Netflix documentaries “Wild Wild Country” and “Aspergers Are Us;” Killer Films, which produced “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Collette;” and Blown Deadline Productions of “The Deuce” and “The Wire” fame.
“Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned,” CEO Christine Vachon tweeted earlier this month.
“Don’t give your business to Georgia,” said Mark Duplass of Duplass Brothers Productions.
Don’t give your business to Georgia. Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?
— Mark Duplass (@MarkDuplass) May 9, 2019
Netflix’s chief content officer warned earlier this week that the company would also “rethink [its] whole investment in Georgia” if the abortion legislation takes effect.
A Hollywood boycott could deal a harsh blow to the economy of Georgia, a popular filming location due to its generous 30% tax credit program for film and TV projects.