Netflix to ‘rethink’ investment in Georgia as abortion law came into force

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Netflix Inc said on Tuesday it would “reconsider” its movie-and tv-production investments in Georgia, if a new law severely restricting abortion in the state is implemented, but continue to work there for now.

FILE PHOTO: 25 Screen Actors Guild Awards – Photo Room – Los Angeles, California, USA, 27 January 2019 – Jason Bateman poses backstage with his Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series award for the Netflix series “Ozark”. REUTERS/Monica Almeida

The streaming service, films, TV shows as crime drama “Ozark” and supernatural thriller “Strange Things” in the united states, said it would work with groups to fight against the Georgia law by the district court in the united states.

It was the first major Hollywood producer to publicly respond to calls by some for an industry boycott of Georgia, a hub for film and television production.

“We have a lot of women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely limited by this law,” Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said in a statement.

“It is the reason why we work with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and others to fight it out in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we continue to film there, while also the support of partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we want to think about our entire investment in Georgia,” Sarandos added.

Georgia’s Republican governor signed into law on May 7, a ban on abortion after a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, about six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant. The law is effective on Jan. 1.

Georgia is one of eight states to pass anti-abortion legislation this year, for the purpose of inducing the Supreme court of the V. S. to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Some Hollywood figures have called for a boycott of Georgia, while others have said that they will donate money to local groups in the fight against the abortion law. Most Hollywood studios and platforms have not commented on their plans.

According to the Georgia film office website on Monday, 38 movies, or TV shows are currently in production in the state. Past productions include TV series “The Walking Dead.”

The makers of an upcoming comedy starring Kristen Wig decided last week to not to shoot in Georgia in the light of the abortion law.

Work on the “Ozark” season three began in Georgia earlier this month. Star and executive producer Jason Bateman said that if the abortion bill became law he would not work in Georgia or any other state which is so disgracefully at odds with the rights of the woman.”

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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