Netflix Considers Leaving Georgia If Abortion Ban Takes Effect | The Mary Sue
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Netflix Will Consider Leaving Georgia If the State’s Abortion Ban Goes Into Effect

 

Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things (2016)

Earlier this month, Georgia’s state governor, Brian Kemp, signed a bill that proposes to outlaw abortion after the detection of a “fetal heartbeat.” As many pro-choice groups have pointed out, this activity isn’t actually a “heartbeat,” but until the bill gets taken to court, it will continue to hover over the state. In response, Netflix— which The Wrap says has a $155 billion market cap—will “rethink” its “entire investment in Georgia” should an anti-abortion law take effect, says chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement.

“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. “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.”

Netflix has, therefore, become the only Hollywood studio to speak out against the abortion ban in this way and consider pulling whatever projects might take place there if the ban is put into place. Other production companies, like Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, have decided to stay in Georgia in order to support jobs for the WOC who would be most negatively impacted by placing an economic chokehold on the state, but will donate money to charitable organizations that will assist women.

Variety reports,

“In a few weeks we start shooting our new show, ‘Lovecraft Country’ and will do so standing shoulder to shoulder with the women of Georgia,” Monkeypaw and Bad Robot said in a statement. “Governor Kemp’s ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Abortion Law is an unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms. Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women. We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia, and will donate 100% 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. We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations.”

Individuals in the media industry are putting their opinions out there and are being very outspoken about what’s going on. Many agree that a flat-out ban on working in the state would probably be harmful to many people who dislike the law as much as anyone else, but considering the fact that a lot of movies have been filming in Georgia, it is expected that a lot of people in entertainment are speaking up.

“It’s hard to wake up every day feeling like I’m growing up in my mother’s generation,” says veteran producer Lori McCreary, former president of the Producers Guild of America and CEO of Revelations Entertainment. “I don’t have anything that’s shooting in those locations, but I would give it a second thought in those states because I think it’s important for us to support [women].”

Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of Women in Film, told Variety in an exclusive statement, “We support people who make the choice not to take their production to Georgia or take a job in Georgia because of the draconian anti-choice law. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of pro-choice states that offer meaningful tax rebates and production incentives, and encourage everyone to explore these alternatives: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Washington.”

While all of this is showing a lot of support, as Stacey Abrams has addressed, the fact is that the people in charge of this ban do not care what the film industry thinks: “I know the perpetrators of #HB481 — most of them men — will not be moved by protest. In fact, they want the ability to demonize the film industry while profiting from its presence.”

Georgia state Rep. Dominic LaRiccia, the governor’s floor leader, proved that with the statement he made. “You’re not from Georgia. You don’t live in Georgia. You’re not a voter in Georgia. You come here to fulfill a contract to make money and then go home. You can’t come to a conservative state and put your hand out, and let us put a lot of money in that hand, and then slap us in the face with the other hand.” LaRiccia said that he would work to convince the movie industry to stay, but “if they back me into a corner with a boycott, I have to give ’em the old South Georgia [saying], ‘Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.”

Abrams has launched a campaign called “Fair Fight” to urge the ban’s opponents to donate to groups advocating for reproductive rights. Any proceeds will be divided evenly among these organizations, according to the site.

“My belief is that we have an obligation to defend the rights of women, the rights of families to make healthcare decisions and the rights of doctors to provide care,” she said. “Any laws that weaken those opportunities and those responsibilities should be fought tooth and nail.”

If we are looking to help the women in Georgia and in these red states, it’s important to remember the economic realities of the women in those states and not make it more difficult for them to get jobs and the health care they might need. Smart protesting is just as important as the act itself.

(via Variety, image: Netflix)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.