The new “heartbeat bill” that has been passed in Georgia earlier this month continues to cause tension in the filming industry and a growing pressure in Hollywood to speak out due to the fact that the state has become a major production location for film and television. According to yesterday’s story in The Washington Post, Netflix has become the first major Hollywood studio to speak against Georgia’s Abortion Law.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has stated that while the streaming company wouldn’t yet refrain from continuing production in Georgia, it would partner with organizations in the legal fight against the law, which bans abortion procedures as soon as the doctor detects a fetal heartbeat. If the recently passed bill makes it through the courts, it will be put into effect on January 1st of 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 his statement to The Washington Post. “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 will 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.”
Georgia’s tax incentives, which allows productions to claim 30 percent in tax credits, has attracted blockbusters such as the Hunger Games series and Marvel’s Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War. Due to the incentives Georgia has offered, Netflix invested in the state with the filming of high-profile television shows that includes Stranger Things, Insatiable and Ozark, as well as films such as the upcoming Hillbilly Elegy.
Insatiable actress Alyssa Milano has been vocal in campaigning against the legislation in Georgia and several other stated, writing a petition — before Georgia Govenor Brian Kemp signed the bill into law — that was backed by dozens of actors, and even calling for a controversial sex strike. Ozark star Jason Bateman joined “Hillbilly Elegy” producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, who will direct the project, in vowing to cease production in Georgia if the heartbeat law goes into effect.