In light of Georgia’s new abortion bill, Netflix is considering pulling out production in the state. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming company claimed that they will continue to film in Georgia but only until the law has been enacted. If the law is passed, they will reconsider filming in Georgia.
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” stated Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer. “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.”
So far, most of the industry has kept quiet about the issue, possibly due to the large tax credits given by Georgia, which has helped it grow into the film and television hub that it is today. Only two productions have been noted to officially relocate production elsewhere: Amazon’s The Power series and the feature film Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Reed Morano, director of The Power, had no qualms about quitting production in Georgia as soon as the law passed. “We had no problem stopping the entire process instantly,” Morano told Time magazine. “There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there.”
Some producers have also stated that they will avoid producing works in Georgia, including Mark Duplass (Big Mouth and The Mindy Project), Brad Simpson (Crazy Rich Asians, Pose, and American Crime Story) and David Simon (The Wire and The Deuce). “I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact,” Simon stated, adding in another tweet: “Can only speak for my production company. Our comparative assessments of locations for upcoming development will pull Georgia off the list until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired.” Some have instead chosen to continue filming in the state, but to make donations to fight the new abortion law. These include J.J. Abrams’ and Jordan Peele’s Lovecraft Country for HBO.
Can only speak for my production company. Our comparative assessments of locations for upcoming development will pull Georgia off the list until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired. https://t.co/WTb0tj95zH
— David Simon (@AoDespair) May 9, 2019
“We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia and will donate 100 percent of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organizations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia,” J.J. Abrams had said. “We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations.”
Concerning the likelihood that the legislation will be enacted in 2020, Chris Ortman, MPAA senior vice president of communications, seemed to think it unlikely. “Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families,” explained Ortman. “It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or is currently being challenged. The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process. We will continue to monitor developments.”