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Disney May Pull Out of Georgia If New Abortion Law Enacted
Bob Iger said it would be “very difficult” for Disney to keep filming in Georgia if the state enacts a new abortion law.
In an interview with Reuters, the CEO of the Walt Disney Co. said he had doubts the company would continue production in Georgia if the controversial ban on abortion in the state comes into effect, primarily as the company's employees would be against it.
“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. Right now we are watching it very carefully,” Iger told Reuters.
The exec added that if the law does come into effect, he didn't "see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there."
Video: Disney, WarnerMedia, Join Netflix in Threatening to Leave Georgia Over Anti-Abortion Law
Disney's prospective withdrawal from production in Georgia would be a huge blow to the state. Recently, Disney's Marvel Studios filmed portions of both Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame in Georgia.
On May 7, Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the "fetal-heartbeat bill," which bans abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The legislation, as well as similar moves in Alabama and other states to ban abortion, has caused a furious backlash in Hollywood and led to calls to boycott those states.
Disney, through Iger, is the latest company to wade into the controversy. Earlier this week, Netflix said it would fight Georgia's abortion law and would "rethink" its operations there should the law go into effect.
At least two projects — Reed Morano's Amazon series The Power and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo's Lionsgate feature Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar — have said they will relocate their productions.
Producers including David Simon, Christine Vachon, Mark Duplass, Neal Dodson and Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson have also said they will steer clear of the state for future productions.
Georgia, thanks to generous 30 percent tax incentives, has become a magnet for film and TV productions, with over 90,000 people working in those industries. In 2018, 455 productions took place in Georgia, according to figures from the state.