Disney may stop filming movies and TV shows in Georgia when the new controversial abortion law comes into effect, CEO Bob Iger told Reuters today.
Iger was asked by Reuters about the company's plans to continue filming some of his greatest films in Georgia after one abortion ban that would prevent women from having the procedure performed as soon as a doctor can find the heartbeat of a fetus. It is a controversial ban – especially if the detection of a heartbeat can occur as early as six weeks in a pregnancy women may not even know they are pregnant.
Losing Disney would be a huge blow to Georgia's annual income from tax revenues that makes it possible to have studios filmed in different locations. Disney is one of the foremost of those studios and has filmed some of its largest Marvel films in Georgia, including Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War. Thanks to these productions, Georgia raised nearly $ 2.7 billion in tax credits in 2017, according to the governor's office.
That annual windfall can soon begin to decrease drastically. Iger told me Reuters "It would be very difficult" to keep filming in Georgia, adding that he didn't think they would continue if the law came into effect on January 1, 2020. "I think many people who work for us don't want to work there, and we will have to take their wishes into account," Iger said Reuters. "We are looking at it very carefully at the moment."
Disney is not the only company that threatens to stop filming in Georgia when the law expires. Netflix main content officer, Ted Sarandos, said the company would "reconsider our entire investment in Georgia" if the law actually came into force.
"We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, are severely restricted by this law," Sarandos said. in a statement Variety earlier this week. "Given that the legislation has not yet been implemented, we will continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to."
Both companies spend quite some time in Georgia. Netflix shoots Stranger Things and movies like the upcoming one Holidate in the state, while Disney also plans to use Georgia for some Disney + programs such as the new Kristin Bell series Granted.