Disney is threatening to quit doing business in Georgia over the state’s recently passed law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that it would be “very difficult” to continue doing business in Georgia if the state law takes effect as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2020.
“I rather doubt we will,” Iger told Reuters, adding, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”
“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.”
Some have accused Disney of holding a double standard, noting that while the company considers leaving Georgia over its abortion law, they have recently considered opening a new resort in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this month, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB 481, also known as The Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act, into law.
The Act bans abortions performed when the heartbeat of an unborn baby is detected, which is normally six weeks into a pregnancy.
“Georgia is a state that values life,” said Kemp when he signed the Act into law. “We protect the innocent, we champion the vulnerable, we stand up and speak for those that are unable to speak for themselves.”
While many pro-life activists celebrated the passage of the law, it was met by opposition and boycott calls from many in Georgia’s vibrant television and movie industry.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told Variety in a recent statement that his company was working with the American Civil Liberties Union to fight the new law.
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” said Sarandos.
“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.”