Disney CEO says it will be ‘very difficult’ to work in Georgia with new abortion law: Here are 5 more entertainment bigwigs joining the fight
On May 7, far-right Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a so-called “heartbeat bill” that, in effect, will outlaw abortion statewide as soon as six weeks into a pregnancy. Critics of the law have been arguing that many pregnant women don’t even know that they’re pregnant at that point, including people in the entertainment industry — which, because of the law, is threatening to go after Georgia where it hurts the most: in the wallet. And the most recent is the Walt Disney Co., whose CEO, Bob Iger, told Reuters that it will be “very difficult” to keep filming in Georgia if the law goes into effect.
The blockbuster films that Disney has shot in Georgia include “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame.” And Iger asserted that if the anti-abortion law does go into effect — which it is set to do on January 1, 2020 — he does not “see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.” Iger told Reuters, “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.”
But Disney is by no means the only entertainment company or star that has either threatened to quit working in Georgia or announced plans to do so. Here are some other prominent entertainment companies or stars who have been speaking out on Georgia’s anti-abortion law.
Netflix, according to Variety, has vowed to work with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in fighting Georgia’s anti-abortion law. Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, told Variety that the company would like to keep working in Georgia but might pull out of the state altogether if the law goes into effect. Sarandos told Variety, “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.”
2. Kristen Wiig
Comedian Kristen Wiig, who was among the stars of the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler-era cast of “Saturday Night Live” before leaving the show, appears to boycotting Georgia altogether because of the anti-abortion law. Last week, a Wiig spokesperson confirmed to CNN that “Barb and Star Go to Vista del Mar,” her new Lionsgate comedy with Annie Mumolo, will not be filming in Georgia because of the “heartbeat law.”
3. Sister Pictures/Jane Featherstone and Naomi De Pear
Jane Featherstone and Naomi De Pear, executive producers for Sister Pictures’ Amazon series, “The Power,” are boycotting Georgia altogether. Featherstone and De Pear, in an official statement, asserted, “we feel we have to stand up for a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body. And so, while this is not a decision we have taken lightly, we feel strongly that it is the right one at this point in time.”
4. David Simon/Blown Deadline Productions
Blown Deadline Productions President David Simon achieved major recognition on HBO in the 2000s with “The Wire,” his riveting, gutsy depiction of crime and drug dealing in areas of Baltimore that are far removed from the gentrified Inner Harbor. And Simon’s other successes have ranged from “The Deuce” to “Treme.” In response to Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” Simon has made it clear he will be avoiding the state altogether for future productions.
5. Killer Films
Independent studio Killer Films, founded in New York City in 1995, is known for films ranging from 2014’s “Still Alice” (starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin) to 2017’s “Beatriz at Dinner” with Salma Hayek and Chloe Sevigny. And Killer CEO Christine Vachon, like Simon, is boycotting Georgia and announced that she won’t be doing any filming in the state going forward.